Uterine fibroid embolization is a procedure which can be performed on women with uterine fibroids which are causing symptoms. Symptoms can include dilation of the pelvis due to the large fibroids, abnormal bleeding, pain.
Fibroids can be treated with either a hysterectomy, which is removal of the uterus, or a myomectomy, which is removal of the fibroids from the uterus but no the entire uterus. Many patients who wish to avoid major surgery and a hospital stay and a major incision into the abdomen and the pelvis elect to undergo uterine fibroid embolization, which will shrink the size of the fibroids and relieve the symptoms.
This is accomplished by placing a small catheter into the artery and selecting the artery that goes to the uterus itself, then delivering small particles into the artery until the flow is almost stopped such that this will destroy the blood flow to the fibroids themselves. This will relieve the symptoms from the fibroids over the next 3-6 months. The fibroids will shrink and the patient has avoided a major operation.