Uterine Fibroid Embolization

About Uterine Fibroids

Estimates are that 20 percent to 40 percent of American women of childbearing years will develop benign uterine fibroids — a noncancerous growth of tissue in or near the uterus that can cause pain, bleeding or pressure on normal pelvic structures. The exact causes for fibroid development are unclear, but researchers have linked them to both a genetic predisposition and a subsequent development of susceptibility to hormone stimulation.

Women may have a genetic predisposition to fibroid development and then subsequently develop factors that allow fibroids to grow under the influence of a number of hormones. About one third of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed annually in the United States are attributed to these fibroids. Symptoms of uterine fibroids include pelvic pain and/or pressure, heavy prolonged menstrual periods and pressure on the bladder and/or bowels.

About Our Advanced Capabilities

Monmouth Medical Center is the first hospital in Monmouth and Ocean counties to introduce uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a procedure that shrinks fibroid tumors by blocking their blood supply. Fibroids draw blood directly from the uterine artery, and through UFE, these growths are “starved” by blocking the blood flow to the fibrous tissue. The procedure has been performed for more than 20 years for nonfibroid procedures including postpartum or postoperative bleeding, ectopic pregnancy and pelvic artery malformations.

It has benefited thousands of women around the world, and a growing body of international medical research indicates that UFE is a viable and highly successful treatment alternative to hysterectomy and other surgical and nonsurgical treatment options. The Department of Radiology at Monmouth Medical Center recognizes the need to offer the most-advanced diagnostic and treatment options, and is dedicated to providing the latest techniques, such as UFE.

About Our Staff

Our dedication to the delivery of safe and efficient care affords you a comfortable and pleasant experience, while providing you with a health care team qualified to meet your every need.

Radiologists use imaging equipment such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging(MRI), ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) to diagnose disease. Interventional radiologists use their expertise in reading X-rays, ultrasound and other medical images to guide small instruments such as catheters, or small tubes, through the blood vessels or other pathways to treat disease through the skin.

About the Procedure

Prior to undergoing UFE, a consultation will be held with the physician. During this visit, which will include a medical history and physical examination, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound test may be performed. If it is determined that UFE is the appropriate procedure, an appointment will be scheduled.

During the procedure, you will be given pain medication and an intravenous sedative. Then a small catheter, or tube, will be inserted through an artery near your groin, which will allow small plastic particles to be passed through to block the flow of blood to the fibroid.

After the UFE is complete, you will rest for several hours, and then will be sent home later that day or after an overnight admission with the necessary medications. While some patients experience symptoms of pain, fever, nausea and lethargy for a number of days following the procedure, some may experience some or no symptoms. These side effects are almost always related to the destruction of the fibroids, and are not due to infection or complications.

Complications from UFE are rare, and most patients resume normal activities, including work, in as little as three days.

For More Information

To learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) or to schedule a consultation, please call the Department of Radiology at Monmouth Medical Center at 732-923-6800.

Obtain a Copy of the Brochure

To Download a Copy of the Uterine Fibroid Embolization Brochure, click here.