Not every woman who has uterine fibroids experiences symptoms. But those who do—such as heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, bloating, pain during sexual intercourse, and more—are constantly grasping for answers and struggle emotionally to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately, there is a successful non-surgical fibroid treatment called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). Its effectiveness is further supported by heart-tugging testimonials from countless women who praise the procedure for helping them reclaim a pain-free life. If all the treatment benefits seem too good to be true, we are here to tell you that the hype is real.
At Fibroid Institute Texas, we believe in the benefits of fibroid treatment with UFE so much that we built our practice around the procedure. Treating fibroid patients without surgery is our specialty. We love seeing the look of relief on a patient’s face when we tell her that she doesn’t have to settle for complex and invasive fibroid surgery such as a hysterectomy or myomectomy. She can choose UFE and rid herself of life-interrupting fibroids without drastically affecting her body.
How Is UFE Different Than Fibroid Surgery?
Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that develop from the muscle tissue in your uterus. They are the most common tumor in the female reproductive system, so much that researchers estimate 70-80% of all women develop fibroids between the ages of 35 and 54. Depending on your situation and potential symptoms, you may have one or several fibroids. The fibroids can be as small as a pea to as large as a melon. Many women find out they have fibroids during a routine pelvic exam. Your doctor and may take a “wait and see” approach if you aren’t in pain. But if fibroids get too large, the painful and debilitating symptoms that ensue can be life-altering.
Common Uterine Fibroid Symptoms
- Painful periods, including heavy or inconsistent cycles
- Debilitating cramps, pelvic pain, and pressure
- Back or leg pain
- Bloating or swelling in the lower abdomen
- Weight gain
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Urinary frequency
- Constipation, diarrhea, and rectum discomfort
- Fatigue and weakness
Women who are in pain may think the only answer is fibroid removal. No more fibroids equals no more pain—right? While that may be true, the only way to “remove” fibroids is through an invasive fibroid surgery. A hysterectomy removes all or part of a woman’s uterus and has historically been the go-to surgical option. Meanwhile, a myomectomy removes the symptom-causing fibroids to preserve the uterus—but it is still surgery.
Fibroid treatment with UFE is different because it isn’t surgery. Rather than remove fibroids requiring surgical incisions and a lengthy recovery time, UFE causes fibroids to shrink and die. As a result, UFE is over 90% effective at eliminating fibroid symptoms and fibroid pain. By opting for a minimally invasive approach, a woman who fears fibroid surgery or isn’t a candidate can avoid all of that and still achieve highly successful results.
Fibroid Treatment with UFE: 9 Benefits
1. Non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment option
Fibroids need a healthy blood supply to survive. UFE eliminates that blood supply. Our experienced interventional radiologists will make a tiny nick on your left wrist and insert a small catheter through this into your artery. Your physician then uses X-ray guidance to locate the vessels that supply blood to your fibroids. Small particles are injected into the vessels, blocking blood flow to the fibroids, and causing them to shrink. As they shrink, you’ll notice a significant decrease in symptoms over time.
2. Less risk than fibroid surgery
Complications from hysterectomy and myomectomy are rare. But it is still considered major surgery, and patients can face issues ranging from excessive blood loss and infection to damage to vital organs, fertility issues, and even disruptions such as hormonal imbalances, depression, and changes in sexual feelings or sensations.
3. Appropriate for technically challenging cases
Some women aren’t candidates for fibroid surgery because of various health issues or their desire to avoid surgeries. For example, patients who refuse blood products, have too many fibroids to resect, have endometriosis or other health conditions, etc. may not be well suited for fibroid surgery. UFE eliminates these risks for a wider group of women and provides the opportunity to live fibroid-free.
4. All fibroids may be treated at the same time
A huge benefit to fibroid treatment with UFE is that all fibroids can be treated at the same time. Conversely, many surgeries can be impacted by a fibroid’s size and where they are located in relation to the uterus. For example, fibroids can grow inside or outside the uterine wall as well as into the uterine cavity. Since UFE is simply cutting off blood supply to the fibroids, size and location become less of a concern in terms of treatment.
5. Recovery time only 7-10 days
To piggyback off a previous item on this list, major surgeries naturally come with lengthy recovery times that can last anywhere from 4-6 weeks. Because there are no abdominal (belly) incisions and no blood loss, fibroid treatment with UFE boasts a recovery time of 7-10 days. You can resume light activities as soon as you feel up to it, and most women return to work in that same timeframe. From a post-procedure standpoint, our patients report little to no pain when they follow our recommended post procedure management chart. Furthermore, patients can expect to have regular monitoring with us. We make ourselves available 7 days a week on the off chance that a patient needs our help, guidance, or emotional support.
6. The uterus is preserved
Surgeries like hysterectomy remove all or part of the uterus along with your fibroids, thus making it impossible for women who still have hopes of getting pregnant someday to have children. But UFE allows a woman to keep her uterus. Furthermore, according to the National Library of Medicine, fibroid treatment with UFE remains an option for females with clinically symptomatic fibroids who desire pregnancy—despite inherent risks of possible fertility issues after UFE.
7. No hospital stay
Fibroid treatment with UFE is an outpatient procedure at our Dallas or Houston fibroid clinics. It can be performed in under an hour and gives women a chance to return to the comfort of their homes soon thereafter. The procedure is performed under moderate sedation. Once the procedure is complete, we will monitor you for 90 minutes and have you empty your bladder. From there, you are free to leave. This is simply not possible with surgery.
8. Over 90% effective
UFE is a safe and effective non-surgical alternative to hysterectomy and myomectomy because it eliminates complications due to traditional surgical procedures. When compared with hysterectomy and myomectomy, women who undergo this fibroid treatment experience a dramatic improvement in their symptoms, a decrease in size of their fibroids, and the ability to maintain their uterus.
9. Dramatic reduction in fibroid symptoms
Our fibroid doctors go over and above to ensure successful outcomes and post-procedure pain management. All symptoms should lessen each day, getting you back to your normal routine after a week or two. As days, weeks and months go by, you’ll notice that many of your uterine fibroid symptoms are drastically getting better or disappearing altogether.
Fibroid Treatment With UFE: We Can Help
If you and your doctor agree that fibroid treatment with uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is the right option for your unique situation, you’ve taken the first step toward reclaiming a symptom-free life. Being fibroid free can be as easy as 1-2-3 with UFE. Rather than a hospital stay, UFE is a same-day outpatient procedure. In fact, at Fibroid Institute, we offer UFE to patients in the comfort of our fibroid clinics equipped with advanced medical technology.
The specialized team at Fibroid Institute, with Dallas and Houston fibroid doctors, have helped thousands of women discover the joys of living fibroid free. With each UFE procedure, patients are empowered to achieve their full potential without being limited by fibroid symptoms. For many women, the UFE procedure changed their lives. Meet some of these women here:
Request a free 10-15 minute phone screening to determine if you are eligible. After the screening, if you qualify for UFE, you can schedule your onsite or telehealth consultation. Most major medical insurance providers cover the cost of UFE.
At Fibroid Institute Dallas and Fibroid Institute Houston, we are dedicated to helping you become #FibroidFree. Get started now by completing the form below or by calling our Dallas fibroid clinics at 214-838-6440 or Houston fibroid clinics at 713-903-3733.
*Patient stories are true. Names and/or photos may be changed to protect patient confidentiality.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or if you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider.
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