So, you’ve decided that it’s time to take control of your painful uterine fibroids. You and your doctor agree that fibroid treatment with uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is the right option for your unique situation. The best part is that you get to avoid a complicated and invasive fibroid surgery. Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step toward reclaiming a pain-free life. With that said, we aren’t blind to the fact that undergoing any procedure, even one as minimally invasive and safe as UFE, can be a cause of anxiety for women. You undoubtedly have many questions that need answers. Perhaps tops on that list is, “How do I prepare for my UFE procedure?”
This is an honest question because, after all, everyone wants to know what to expect before, during, and after any procedure. The good news is that being fibroid free is 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 Texas, we offer UFE to patients in the comfort of our offices equipped with advanced medical technology that can relieve you of fibroid symptoms such as:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or clotting
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Urinary frequency
- Back or leg pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Periods that last longer than a week
Why Do Some Women Fear Fibroid Treatment?
Researchers estimate 70 to 80% of all women develop fibroids between 35 and 54. However, fibroids can occur in women younger than 35 and until menopause. Not all fibroids cause symptoms, so not everyone needs to have fibroid surgery or a minimally invasive procedure like UFE. But based on the thousands of patients we’ve helped, we know some may experience fear and anxiety over any treatment that could change their lives.
As a result, women can put fibroid treatment off for months or years. A uterine fibroid research study conducted by experts from the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of North Carolina found that women delayed seeking fibroid treatment for an average of 3.6 years, with nearly a third waiting more than 5 years. Most of this was due to fear and lack of knowledge about fibroid treatment options. Additionally, one survey that included 730 women cited that most concerns ranged from fears over not being able to get pregnant or having a difficult delivery, while older patients were more concerned with general health and significant blood loss.
Having a fibroid doctor who is open to back-and-forth dialogue, answers every question or concern, sets expectations along the way, and honors a patient’s wishes, is one significant way to help you feel more in control and have less fear of fibroid treatment. Another is UFE, which by itself is a simple solution to addressing fears and eliminating pain.
As a patient, we know you have questions regarding any fibroid treatment procedure you might choose. Here are a few things to expect and how to prepare if your doctor has referred you to Fibroid Institute for UFE.
Before Your UFE Procedure
Every patient is evaluated during a consultation appointment. If you are a candidate for UFE, we will order an MRI if needed and coordinate your care based on your schedule. From here, each patient must keep in mind the following:
- Relay all necessary information to your doctor regarding lists of current medications, allergies, illnesses, etc.
- Read all instructions
- Complete your paperwork and date your consent forms one day prior to your procedure and email them to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also fax them to our Dallas fibroid clinics at 214-838-6441 or our Houston fibroid clinics at 713-903-3773
- Drink plenty of fluids the day before the procedure
- Set up your bedroom with readily available items (loose nightgown, tissues, heating pad, cellphone, etc.)
- Re-read your UFE procedure instructions
- Arrange for a driver and someone to stay with you the first night
During Your UFE Procedure
UFE is equally as effective at eliminating fibroids and fibroid pain, but unlike a hysterectomy or myomectomy, it is not fibroid surgery. Rather than remove fibroids, UFE shrinks them. By doing so, a woman who is afraid of fibroid surgery can avoid all of that but still achieve highly successful results.
Here’s how it works
Our specialized and experienced interventional radiologists will make a tiny nick on your left wrist. A very small catheter is inserted through this into your artery. Your physician will use 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 previously mentioned, there is no hospital stay and no incisions. UFE can be performed under anesthesia and treats all fibroids at once. Furthermore, recovery generally takes about 7 days for most women. Each patient needs to know the following:
- Our office orders medications and has them ready for you the day of your UFE procedure
- The procedure will only last about an hour
- You will be asleep during the procedure
- A specialized nurse will monitor you to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure
After Your UFE Procedure
We will want to see you one week after the procedure to assess your recovery. You will have additional post-procedure appointments at one month and four months to follow your progress. But for those who wish to know, below is what you can expect immediately after the UFE procedure:
- We will monitor you for 90 minutes before you go home
- You must be able to empty your bladder before you leave
- Some women experience vaginal bleeding, which typically becomes lighter in the months following UFE
- Cramping is also normal and will become less frequent
- You can resume light activities as soon as you feel up to it. Most women return to work in 7-10 days
- Read all post-procedure instructions
- If you experience a fever, chills, etc., bring this to your doctor’s attention immediately
From a procedure-prep and post-procedure standpoint, Fibroid Institute has developed a highly specific formula. As a result, our patients report little to no pain when they follow the recommended medicine chart. Furthermore, patients can expect to have regular monitoring with us. We make ourselves available—day or night—on the off chance that a patient needs our help, guidance, or emotional support.
It’s important to work with interventional radiologists like our fibroid experts who specialize in UFE. We 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!
Seek Fibroid Institute for Less Anxiety About Fibroid Treatment
Do you have fibroid symptoms? Are you interested in learning more about UFE for fibroid treatment? Many patients prefer to avoid surgery if there is an alternative to relieve their fibroid pain. Educate yourself about non-surgical fibroid treatment at Fibroid Institute.
The expert doctors and specialized team at Fibroid Institute, with Dallas and Houston fibroid clinics, 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.
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.
Fibroid Institute Texas serves the Dallas and Houston areas including Addison, Carrollton, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, HEB, Arlington, Hutchins, Irving, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Dallas, Sherman, Houston, Sugar Land, Katy, Webster, Clear Lake, The Woodlands, Universal City, Spring, Kingwood, Stafford, Conroe, Texas City, Cypress, League City, Bellaire, and more.