A Patient's Guide to UFE

uterine fibroids Atlanta

Many women who suffer from painful uterine fibroids prefer to avoid a hysterectomy, which is considered a radical treatment option. For these patients, a minimally invasive procedure such as uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is an ideal alternative. Before undergoing fibroid embolization in Atlanta, patients should be fully informed about the procedure itself and what they can expect. Dr. John Lipman, who is an Interventional Radiologist in Smyrna, specializes in this treatment and can help you understand what's involved with embolization.

Benefits of UFE

Embolization has given countless women hope of enjoying a pain-free future without the need for an invasive hysterectomy. Although every type of procedure carries risks, patients undergoing UFE enjoy a very low rate of complications such as infections. Additionally, patients can avoid the potential complications involved with general anesthesia. It is considered a safe procedure with a short recovery time. In fact, the vast majority of patients return home the same day. Another benefit of embolization for uterine fibroids is that there is virtually no surgical site present; women will only have a small nick in the skin that requires a bandage, rather than stitches.

Preparation for UFE

One of the most important steps to prepare for uterine fibroid embolization is to become an informed patient. Women should consult a specialist in the field, an Interventional Radiologist like Dr. Lipman, to discuss the type of fibroid tumor they have. It's also advisable to consider all of the available treatment options before deciding to undergo UFE. If you do decide to undergo embolization, your physician will give you pre-operative instructions. Be sure to disclose all of your medications, over-the-counter drugs and supplements, and other medical conditions. You'll need to stop eating and drinking for a period of time before the procedure. You can expect to take a sedative before the procedure to reduce your discomfort.

Procedure for UFE

Uterine fibroid embolization is performed via a catheter, which is inserted into a small incision in the femoral artery of the upper thigh. The physician injects contrast dye into the catheter and uses real-time imaging to view the internal structures during the procedure. The physician carefully guides the catheter to the blood vessels near the fibroid, which supply the tumor with blood. Tiny particles are injected, which blocks the blood vessel to cut off blood supply to the fibroids. This causes the fibroids to shrink and die off.