Uterine fibroid embolization is a modern minimally invasive treatment method for uterine fibroids that treats the fibroids without requiring the removal of the uterus. The procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist in the radiology department of a hospital.
The embolization procedure is relatively painless and it consists of the introduction of embolic agents (tiny particles) into the blood vessels that provide the fibroids with blood to cut off the blood supply and to induce the shrinkage or the complete elimination of the fibroids. The benefits of the procedure include short duration and short healing time – the process takes around 90 minutes and it can usually be performed in the form of day-care treatment, without requiring hospitalization. However, embolization is not suitable for the treatment of fibroids that are too large or are located in certain areas of the womb, such as the wall. In many cases, embolization keeps symptoms away for a long time or permanently, but the procedure does not address the underlying cause that has led to the appearance of the growths, therefore in many cases, it does not provide a permanent solution – the fibroids might start growing again after a few years and they might start causing problems again.
To find out more about embolization, you can talk to your gynecologist or to an interventional radiologist.