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Uterine Fibroid Embolization

A minimally invasive procedure which uses x-ray imaging to guide a catheter to the uterine arteries


Uterine fibroid embolization is performed by an experienced interventional radiologist. The FDA-approved procedure is clinically proven to reduce the major symptoms of uterine fibroids in women. 

Uterine fibroid tumors, also known as leiomyomas, are benign growths of fiber and muscle within or on the muscular walls of the uterus. These noncancerous tumors may cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pressure on the bladder or bowel and pain in the pelvic region. Uterine fibroids affect 20 percent to 40 percent of women of child-bearing age. African-American women are the most racially prone group, as are women with a family history of fibroids. The size of the fibroids can range in size from ¼-inch to the size of a cantaloupe.

Uterine fibroid embolization is an alternative to the surgical removal of the fibroids (myomectomy) or removal of the entire uterus (hysterectomy). Led by Uma Prasad, M.D., physicians at VCU Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) offer women this alternative treatment option to invasive surgery.

During the minimally invasive procedure, interventional radiologists use x-ray imaging to guide a catheter through the groin to the uterine arteries. Embolic agents, which are tiny particles that are then injected through the catheter into the blood vessels. These particles block the blood supply feeding the fibroids, which causes them to shrink and die. 

Patients typically notice a 50 percent reduction in the size of the fibroids within three to six months and an 80 percent reduction after the first year. Overall, patients experience a 90 percent improvement of symptoms.

Patients and referring physicians visit Uterine Fibroid Embolization at VCU Health.

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