Imaging Services: Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
Now, women have a highly successful, safe, minimally invasive choice to treat fibroids of any size. It's called uterine fibroid embolization, or UFE, and this major advance in women's health is available at Altoona Regional.
Interventional radiologists Drs. Peter James, David Rose and Richard Wertz, all of Lexington Radiology, perform UFE as an alternative to hysterectomy or myomectomy surgery.
Twenty to 40 percent of women age 35 and older have uterine fibroids of a significant size. Most cases are asymptomatic, but 10 to 20 percent of women with uterine fibroids seek treatment for painful or health-threatening symptoms.
Since it is a noninvasive procedure, UFE can be performed under conscious sedation as opposed to general anesthesia.
During UFE, the physician maneuvers a small vascular catheter, about the size of a pencil lead, through the artery in the upper thigh to deliver tiny particles into the vessels that supply blood to the fibroids. The particles block the blood flow to the fibroids, ultimately shrinking and killing them.
On average, 85 to 90 percent of women experience significant or total relief of heavy bleeding, pain and/or bulk-related symptoms. Since there is no open surgery, most patients are discharged within 24 hours and return to normal activities in seven to 10 days.
If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and want to learn more about UFE, call Lexington Radiology at 889.2590. Please follow up with your family physician or gynecologist if you're experiencing symptoms of uterine fibroids.