Surgery isn't the only option if you're experiencing pain, heavy bleeding, and other symptoms caused by uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) a treatment offered by Dr. James McGuckin at Pennsylvania Vascular Institute in Jim Thorpe, Philadelphia, East Stroudsburg, Limerick, Bethlehem, and King of Prussia, PA, shrinks fibroids and relieves your symptoms.
How UFE can help you
Non-cancerous tumors called fibroids grow in the walls of your uterus and cause all sorts of problems, ranging from pain to anemia. If the fibroids press against your bladder, you may find that you feel like you need to urinate frequently. In addition to heavy bleeding, other fibroid symptoms may include:
- Pain in your lower back, legs, or pelvis
- Painful periods
- Enlarged abdomen
- Painful sex
Medication and surgery can be helpful in treating fibroids, but sometimes, the tumors grow back. Although a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) will stop your symptoms, it's not the only solution if your fibroids are affecting the quality of your life.
UFE improves your symptoms without removing your uterus. The minimally invasive treatment cuts off the blood supply to the tumors, causing them to shrink. As the tumors become smaller, your symptoms will get better. In most cases, the fibroids don't return after UFE treatment.
What happens during the UFE procedure?
During your visit to the Philadelphia, East Stroudsburg, Limerick, Bethlehem, Jim Thorpe or King of Prussia, PA, office, your doctor will review your medical history and the results of ultrasound MRI scans and other tests and let you know if you're a good candidate for uterine fibroid embolization.
If UFE is a good option for you, you'll schedule the outpatient procedure. During UFE, your doctor makes a tiny cut in the skin on your wrist or groin and passes a thin catheter into the blood vessels that carry blood to the fibroid. After locating the vessels, he'll inject small, plastic particles into them. The particles seal the blood vessels and prevent blood from reaching the fibroid. Without an adequate blood supply, the fibroids soon begin to shrink.
The UFE procedure only takes about an hour, although you'll need to remain in the recovery area for a few hours after your treatment.
Interested in talking to Dr. McGuckin about a uterine fibroid embolization? Make an appointment with him at one of the offices of Pennsylvania Vascular Institute. Call (800) 296-9294 to schedule an appointment at the Philadelphia, East Stroudsburg, Limerick, Bethlehem or King of Prussia, PA, offices or (484) 896-9880 for the Jim Thorpe office.