Fairfax Radiological Consultants

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Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)

What is UFE?

Uterine fibroids are benign, non-cancerous tumors within the uterus. UFE is a minimally invasive image guided procedure that cuts off the blood supply to fibroids causing them to shrink and stop causing symptoms.

Common Questions

  • Why would my physician recommend UFE?

    Your physician may recommend UFE if you have fibroids and you experience abnormal menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, abdominal distortion, frequent urination, constipation or bloating, or painful intercourse. It is a minimally invasive alternative to hysterectomy or myomectomy.

  • How does UFE work?

    During this procedure, a tiny nick is made in the groin area or wrist. Using a specialized X-ray, a catheter is guided through the uterine artery near the location of the fibroid. Then, embolic material (particles) is injected through the catheter blocking the blood flow to the fibroids causing them to shrink.

  • What do I need to do before a UFE procedure?

    You will be given detailed instructions by our staff before your procedure. In general, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. This includes breath mints, gum, and tobacco. Patients should notify staff if they are diabetic, taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or allergic to anesthesia. Be sure to bring your insurance card, photo ID and list of current medications (dose and frequency).

  • What should I expect during a UFE procedure?

    During the procedure, your vital signs will be monitored. You will receive a sedative or anesthesia. In addition, you may be given antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as anti-nausea and pain medications. A small nick is made where the catheter will be inserted and that area will be sterilized and numbed. Using an imaging device, the catheter is guided near the fibroids. An embolic material (particles) is injected through the catheter to block the blood flow to the fibroids. The catheter is then removed, pressure is applied to the incision area and it is covered with a bandage.

  • What will I feel during a UFE procedure?

    You may feel a slight sting when the needle is inserted for the IV line and the anesthesia. You will feel relaxed and sleepy during the procedure. You may feel some pressure when the catheter is inserted, but will not have serious pain.

  • What should I expect after a UFE procedure?

    You may be at bedrest for about two to four hours after the procedure. Be sure to arrange a ride home from the procedure. You may experience heavy pelvic cramping the first 6-12 hours after UFE. You may experience intermittent pain and fatigue during the first 2-3 days after UFE. If you have small children, you should arrange to have help for the first few days. You should be back to normal activities in 7-10 days.

  • How do I schedule a UFE procedure with Fairfax Vascular Center?

    You should first schedule a consultation with our physicians to discuss the procedure and to determine if you are a good candidate. You can schedule an appointment by calling 703.698.4475 Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

  • When are appointments offered for UFE procedures?

    Appointments are available at Fairfax Vascular Center Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. Click on the link for more information about this location.

Available at the following location

Fairfax Vascular Center

Fairfax Vascular Center

8505 Arlington Boulevard
Suite 400
Fairfax, VA 22031
United States