What is Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?

Our Houston Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) procedure treats fibroids in the uterus with a minimally invasive approach that, unlike many fibroid treatments, can preserve your fertility. It is performed using fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray) that allows the physician (an interventional radiologist) to guide various small wires and catheters to the arteries that feed the tumor. Once at the tumor, small embolic particles are injected to slow blood flow to the tumor. Once this occurs, the fibroid shrinks.

Patients who suffer from uterine fibroids typically experience the following symptoms:

  • Pelvic pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Pelvic pain
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding/periods
  • Passing blood clots during menstrual cycle
  • Severe cramps
  • Distended Abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Pain during or following intercourse
  • Pain down the back of one or both legs
  • Constipation
  • An urge to urinate frequently
  • Infertility

The highlights of UFE is that it is a non-surgical method to treat uterine fibroids. Patients are able to go home the same day and recovery takes about 1-3 weeks. There are lower complication rates due to lower amounts of blood loss. Additionally, your uterus is preserved.

What are the Benefits of UFE?

There are many benefits of UFE and it has been extensively studied by multiple national organizations. Fibroid embolization is recognized by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology as an effective method for treating uterine fibroids. Clinical symptom improvement is seen in about 9 in 10 women [1]. Other benefits of UFE include:

  • Fast recovery and relief of symptoms in about 90% patients
  • Uterus remains intact
  • Minimally invasive, increasing safety

How Safe is the Uterine Fibroid Embolization Procedure?

Multiple studies have shown UFE to be a safe and effective treatment for fibroids. There are a few risks associated with the procedure including bleeding, infection, non-target embolization, and damage to other structures. However, these risks are minimal.

The side effects of UFE may include:

  • Post embolization syndrome: characterized by fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and low-grade fevers that are an inflammatory reaction to the procedure. This is often successfully managed by analgesics and anti-nausea medication. This usually subsides in 1-2 days.
  • Increased pain immediately after procedure: you may experience increased pain and cramping following the procedure, due to the embolization. This is often successfully managed with painkillers. The pain often subsists within a week.

Complications of this procedure are minimal but may include:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Injury to the uterus or surrounding structures
  • Infection
  • Infertility
  • Loss of menstrual periods

Call Now to Determine If You’re a Candidate for Fibroid Embolization in Houston

As a top fibroid treatment specialist in Houston, Dr. Maneevese has helped hundreds of women overcome the pain and worries of fibroids. If you suffer from uterine fibroids, and have considered surgery for your fibroids, contact us now to determine your eligibility for fibroid embolization.


[1] Toor SS, Jaberi A, Macdonald DB, McInnes MD, Schweitzer ME, Rasuli P. Complication rates and effectiveness of uterine artery embolization in the treatment of symptomatic leiomyomas: a systematic review and meta-analysis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2012;199(5):1153-1163. doi:10.2214/AJR.11.8362