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Uterine fibroid embolization is a treatment to destroy or shrink uterine fibroids, which are benign (non-cancerous) tumours of the uterine wall or muscle.
During the procedure, the doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into blood vessels in both of your upper thighs. The doctor sends tiny particles through the catheter. These particles prevent your fibroids from getting blood. Without blood, the fibroids shrink or die.
You will be awake during the procedure. You will be given medicine to help you relax and to help with pain. The treatment usually takes 1 to 3 hours.
Most women go home 6 to 24 hours after the treatment. You will probably need about 7 to 10 days to fully recover. You may have some pain for a few hours to a few days after the treatment as the fibroids shrink.
This treatment should decrease pain and heavy bleeding caused by fibroids. It may also prevent your fibroids from growing back. After the procedure, you will have less blood flow to your uterus. Because of this, pregnancy is not recommended after uterine fibroid embolization. Talk with your doctor about birth control options.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: February 19, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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