Fibroid Treatment: Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
Scheduling and Directions
Uterine fibroid detection is usually the result of a routine pelvic exam. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that develop within or attach to the wall of the uterus. Uterine fibroids may cause infertility or premature delivery. Severe pain or excessively heavy bleeding with fibroids may require emergency surgery. In rare cases, cancerous changes may occur after menopause.
When uterine fibroid detection occurs, your physician may be able to treat the uterine fibroids with medicine or you may need to have surgery for treating uterine fibroids. For those uterine fibroids that do require surgical treatment, DeKalb Medical offers uterine fibroid embolization or UFE. Listen in as Dr. Melissa Seely-Morgan talks about uterine fibroids and their treatment.
Treating Uterine Fibroids with UFE
UFE is an alternative to major surgery for some women who have experienced uterine fibroid detection. This less invasive outpatient method of treating uterine fibroids takes approximately one hour and is effective in about 90 percent of women, relieving pain, bloating and heavy bleeding due to uterine fibroids. Women who want to become pregnant should not have this procedure.
Also known as uterine artery embolization, UFE is performed under local anesthesia by a specially trained interventional radiologist who uses state-of-the-art imaging methods to guide the procedure. The uterine fibroids are destroyed by blocking the arteries that carry blood to them. Recovery from treating uterine fibroids with UFE usually takes about a week, allowing women to return to a normal lifestyle.
Preparing for Your UFE Procedure
Always tell your doctor if you could be pregnant and what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements or herbs you bought without a prescription. Before your UFE, you may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot.
On the day of your UFE, you usually will be asked not to drink or eat anything for six to eight hours before your procedure. UFE is usually done under local anesthesia which means you are awake but don’t feel pain.
Your doctor will prescribe pain medication after your procedure, and you will be asked to lie flat for four to six hours after the procedure. Pelvic cramps are common for the first 24 hours after the procedure and may last for two weeks.
Recovery from uterine fibroid treatment usually takes about a week, allowing women to return to a normal lifestyle.
Scheduling and Directions
Your physician will contact DeKalb Medical to schedule your uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) for you.
If your UFE procedure is at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, go to the hospital’s central registration area.
- From North Decatur Road, enter the hospital campus via Wash Lively Road.
- At road end, turn right. (Note: If you are in a wheelchair or need to be dropped off at the entrance, turn left and proceed to the Central Registration patient drop-off which is on the right just past the main hospital entrance. Your driver should then turn around and continue to the Visitor/Patient parking deck.)
- At stop sign, turn left and park in the Visitor/Patient parking deck.
- Take any elevator or stairs to the 3rd level.
- Proceed to the Pedestrian Bridge to the hospital.
- Take bridge straight ahead to the escalators.
- Take escalators down one level.
- Once off escalators, turn right and immediately left and follow the directions to the hospital main lobby.
- Proceed past the hospital Gift Shop on your right.
- Once in the main lobby, follow the hallway to Central Registration.
- At the end of hallway, turn left.
- Central Registration is on the right.
If your UFE procedure is being performed at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, go to the hospital’s registration area.
- Park in the hospital parking lot.
- Proceed to the main entrance of the hospital.
- Registration is directly on the right – you must register before proceeding to the Imaging Department.
- When you have completed registration, a staff member will direct you to the Imaging Department for your breast MRI.