Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) Dallas TX

Non-Surgical Treatment For Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally-invasive procedure that we use to relieve heavy bleeding, pain, and other symptoms in patients with uterine fibroids.

Effective – 85% of women report that they are satisfied with the procedure or experience sustained symptom relief

Clinically Proven – UFE is supported by multiple clinical studies and nearly two decades of practice

Keep Your Uterus – pregnancy is possible after UFE

Fast Recovery – hospital stay not required, most women return to their normal activities within 1 week

The physicians at Interventional and Vascular Care are experienced providers of UFE in Dallas, TX. Find relief and get back to your life!

Uterine artery embolization in Dallas TX explanatory diagram

UFE Procedure: a small tube called a catheter is guided through the blood vessels to reach the fibroids. Micro-sized beads are injected through the catheter into the fibroid, blocking the fibroid’s blood supply, causing it to shrink.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) in Dallas, TX

Dr. Aaron Fritts, MD

Interventional & Vascular Specialists

Dr. Aaron Fritts is a board-certified Vascular & Interventional Radiologist that specializes in minimally invasive uterine fibroid treatment. Dr. Fritts is passionate about helping women overcome the debilitating symptoms of uterine fibroids, and because of his continued commitment to high quality care, Dr. Fritts was recently selected as a SuperDoctors Rising Star and has been voted one of D-Magazine’s best doctors in Dallas. Read full bio.

Dr. Aaron Fritts Interventional and Vascular Care Google Review Score
Uterine artery embolization specialist Dr. Aaron Fritts in Dallas, TX

“From the moment I setup the initial appointment to speak with Dr. Fritts, to after my final procedure, the entire staff was phenomenal.”

– Erin in Dallas, TX

Read Full Testimonial

“Dr. Fritts gave me all the time I needed to understand and feel comfortable with the procedure…He has a healer’s way about him. Highest recommendation.”

– Rod in Dallas, TX

Read Full Testimonial

Fibroid Care in Dallas, TX

IVC Dallas, TX logo for uterine artery embolization white

How Does Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) Work?

Fibroids receive the majority of their blood supply directly from the uterine arteries. This blood supply is required for fibroids to grow and maintain their size. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), also called uterine artery embolization (UAE), is a minimally invasive procedure in which tiny particles are injected into the uterine artery to cut off blood supply to the fibroids. After UFE, the fibroids shrink and symptoms are relieved.
UFE catheter inserted to perform uterine fibroid embolization

A catheter is inserted near the groin through a single puncture and navigated to the uterine arteries.

UFE embolic particles occlude blood vessels feeding fibroid

Embolic particles are injected into the fibroids to block blood flow through the vessels that feed them.

Fibroid shrinks afte UFE procedure

The fibroid starves and shrinks without its primary blood supply. Symptoms are relieved as the fibroid shrinks.

Fibroid Care in Dallas, TX

IVC Dallas, TX logo for uterine artery embolization white

How Does Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) Compare to Other Options?

Compared to surgical options like hysterectomy and myomectomy, uterine artery embolization offers the fastest recovery time, the shortest hospital stay, and the lowest risk of procedural complications. It is clinically proven to be just as effective as surgical options when it comes to symptom relief and patient satisfaction. Uterine artery embolization has the added advantage of keeping the uterus healthy and intact, so pregnancy after uterine artery embolization is still possible.

Is UFE Right For Me?

Uterine fibroid embolization has clear advantages over surgical options, especially if you would like to preserve your uterus, become pregnant in the future, and/or minimize your downtime following your fibroid treatment. 

A uterine fibroid embolization specialist at Interventional and Vascular Care can help you evaluate your options and decide if minimally invasive vein treatment is right for you!

Smiling woman in Dallas, TX

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) Procedure: What to Expect

Fibroid Screening

Your visit to Interventional and Vascular Care (IVC) will begin with a review of your medical history, followed by a physical exam. Usually uterine fibroids can be diagnosed with a simple ultrasound exam of the lower abdomen.

Evaluation for Uterine Artery Embolization

An MRI scan may be used to rule out other conditions and confirm that any anomalies observed during your ultrasound are indeed fibroids. Your Vascular Specialist may also use an MRI or other imaging techniques to get a good look at your vascular anatomy and prepare for your uterine artery embolization procedure.
Woman consulting nurse about uterine artery embolization in Dallas, TX

The Procedure

After checking in with the receptionist, the staff at IVC will provide you with a disposable gown and will be able to answer any questions you may have. You will have an IV placed in your arm for fluids and medications.

You will be moved to a bed surrounded by large imaging equipment that allows your Vascular Specialist to take live X-ray images of your major blood vessels during the procedure. Unless you request it, you will not require general anesthesia and will not be “put to sleep.” You will be provided with conscious sedation to relax you and minimize any pain during the procedure.

There are no major incisions required for the uterine artery embolization procedure, but a tiny puncture will be made in the forearm or the upper leg. Your Vascular Specialist will then proceed to navigate a small tube through this puncture to the blood vessels that supply your uterine fibroids and deliver therapy. The procedure usually takes less than an hour. Although you will be awake throughout the procedure, a specialized nurse will be monitoring you to keep you comfortable.

Recovery

After your uterine fibroid embolization procedure, you will be taken to a recovery room for around 6 hours for monitoring. Throughout your recovery, IVC staff will ensure that your puncture site is properly closed and any post-op pain is under control. How long you stay in monitoring is usually at the discretion of the Vascular Specialist, and an overnight hospital stay may be recommended if you are experiencing more severe post-op pain.

Healing

Pain is normal following uterine artery embolization, and is typically present for 3 to 4 days. Over-the-counter medications can help with this pain and are usually sufficient, but additional pain control may be prescribed. In most cases, a full recovery is made 1 to 2 weeks following the procedure, after which you can gradually return to normal activities like work and exercise. The normal course of recovery usually includes some vaginal bleeding, which should become lighter in the months following uterine artery embolization as the fibroids continue to shrink.

Fibroid Care in Dallas, TX

IVC Dallas, TX logo for uterine artery embolization white

Uterine Artery Embolization FAQs

Efficacy of Uterine Artery Embolization

(a) How successful is uterine artery embolization?

Treatment for symptomatic vein disease (disease involving pain, swelling, or other symptoms that directly impact quality of life) is covered by Medicare and most other insurance providers. On the other hand, treatment for cosmetic reasons without other symptoms of vein disease is typically not covered by insurance.

(b) How long does uterine artery embolization last?

For the majority of cases (around 65%), uterine artery embolization lasts indefinitely. However, clinical studies have shown that some women require an additional procedure (reintervention) following uterine artery embolization. Reintervention is often caused by the development of entirely new fibroids, or regrowth of existing fibroids that were only partially occluded during the first procedure. According to the highest quality clinical data, about 20% of women elect for reintervention within 2 years of their first procedure, increasing to 25-30% at 5 years.

Safety of Uterine Artery Embolization

(c) How safe is uterine artery embolization?

Procedural complications are uncommon in uterine artery embolization. The highest quality clinical studies have demonstrated that complications occur at a rate of 0% to 9%, and most complications can be managed during the procedure without long-term health consequences.

(d) What are the side effects of uterine artery embolization?

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) side effects tend to resolve on their own within the first 30 days following the procedure. The most common side effects include: post-embolization syndrome (pain, nausea, mild fever, flu-like symptoms), hot flashes, vaginal discharge, fibroid expulsion, and hematoma formation (bruising). Less common side effects include UTI, urinary retention, urinary incontinence, thrombosis, thigh paresthesia, infection, and temporary amenorrhea (absence of menstruation).

The Uterine Artery Embolization Procedure

(e) How is uterine artery embolization performed?

The uterine artery embolization procedure begins with a small puncture in the upper thigh or the forearm that allows your Vascular Specialist to insert small tubes (called catheters) and wires into your artery. Using real-time fluoroscopic (x-ray) imaging, the Vascular Specialist guides a catheter to the arteries that feed your fibroids. With the catheter in place, the Vascular Specialist injects micro-sized beads through the catheter to stop blood flow to the fibroids. When the Vascular Specialist sees that blood flow to the fibroids has stopped, the catheter is removed from the body and the tiny puncture is sealed.

(f) How does uterine artery embolization work?

Uterine fibroids rely on a continuous supply of blood from the uterine arteries to maintain their size. Uterine artery embolization works by blocking (embolizing) the arteries that feed the fibroids with micro-sized particles. By eliminating the fibroids’ blood supply, the fibroids shrink over time.

(g) Where do they cut for uterine artery embolization?​

There are no major incisions involved in the uterine artery embolization procedure. Only one tiny puncture is made in the upper thigh or in the forearm. This tiny puncture allows the Vascular Specialist to access your fibroids through your arteries and deliver therapy.

The Uterine Artery Embolization Procedure

(h) What is the recovery time after uterine artery embolization?

Women undergoing uterine artery embolization should plan for 1 to 2 weeks of recovery before returning to normal activities like work and exercise. Multiple studies have looked at how long it takes for women to make a full recovery after uterine artery embolization. In most studies, uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) recovery time averages between 9 and 12 days, but exact recovery time will vary from person to person.

(i) Why is uterine artery embolization painful afterwards?

Uterine artery embolization works by inducing ischemia (blockage of blood flow) to the fibroids and depriving the fibroids of blood, oxygen, and nutrients. Although ischemia is the goal of the UFE procedure, ischemia may also activate pain signals that respond to oxygen deficiency. This is thought to cause cramping pain around the site of treatment for a few days after the procedure. Pain typically lasts for 3-4 days, and less frequent cramping pain can occur for up to 2 weeks following the procedure.

(j) What happens to fibroids after uterine artery embolization?

After uterine artery embolization, the blood vessels feeding the fibroids are blocked, causing the fibroids to receive an insufficient blood supply. This leads to an ischemic reaction in the fibroids (injury from lack of oxygen), which causes them to undergo necrosis (death of cells) and shrink.

(k) How much do fibroids shrink after uterine artery embolization?

Fibroids shrink by 40% to 75% in the first 6 months after uterine artery embolization, and continue to shrink over time. This causes the uterus to shrink by 26% to 59%, which is why uterine artery embolization is effective in alleviating fibroid symptoms.

(l) How long does it take for fibroids to shrink after uterine artery embolization?

Fibroids begin to shrink immediately after the uterine artery embolization procedure, and continue to shrink throughout the next year. Many women note improvement in their bleeding symptoms immediately following the procedure, but it can take up to 3 months for fibroids to shrink enough for women to notice major symptom improvements. In one study of uterine artery embolization, 200 women were asked about their symptoms 3 months after treatment. 87% of the women described improvement in their bleeding symptoms, and 93% described improvement in pelvic pain and pelvic pressure symptoms.

 

Schedule Your Visit

 

Phone icon pink circle

Call us anytime
M-F, 8am-5pm

Book online icon pink circle

Email us or
use this message box.

Email icon pink circle

We typically respond
within 3-5 minutes.

References
[1] Gupta et al. (2014). Uterine artery embolization for symptomatic uterine fibroids (Review). Cochrane Library, (5).
[2] Younas K, Hadoura E, Majoko F, Bunkheila A. A review of evidence-based management of uterine fibroids. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 2016;18:33–42.
[3] Bulman, J.C., Ascher, S.M., Spies, J.B. (2012). Current Concepts in Uterine Fibroid Embolization. RadioGraphics, 32(6), 1735-1750.
[4] Khan, A. T., Shehmar, M., Gupta, J. K., & Gupta, J. (2014). Uterine fibroids: current perspectives. International Journal of Women’s Health, 6, 95–114.
[5] Spies, J. B. (2013). Current evidence on uterine embolization for fibroids. Seminars in Interventional Radiology, 30(4), 340–346

Medical Disclaimer
The Materials available on ivcmd.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients.

Contact

Phone

(469) 828-6166

Fax
(469) 828-6166

Email
info@ivcmd.com

Location

North Dallas

12840 Hillcrest Rd Unit E104
Dallas, TX 75230

Site Navigation

Patient Education

  • Conditions
  • Treatment
Interventional and Vascular Care Dallas, TX logo white
Interventional & Vascular Care (IVC) provides minimally invasive image-guided procedures (MIIPs) to patients in the Dallas metroplex. Specializing in peripheral artery disease, venous insufficiency, uterine fibroids, and other conditions.

Powered by OnChart Medical.

OnChart logo white

© 2019 by OnChart. All rights reserved. Please review our Terms of Use.