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Covid-19 (Coronavirus): For information related to COVID-19, visit vcuhealth.org/covid-19. For information specific to children and families, visit Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

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About the Procedure

Physicians at VCU Uterine Fibroid Embolization offer women with uterine fibroids an alternative treatment option to surgery. During UFE, our team of experienced interventional radiologists uses X-ray imaging to guide a catheter placed in the upper thigh to the uterine arteries. Tiny particles are then injected through the catheter into the blood vessels, blocking the feeding of the fibroids, which causes them to shrink and, ultimately, die.

UFE has been performed on thousands of women worldwide since 1994 and has been clinically proven to be successful in reducing the major symptoms of uterine fibroids with minimal hospitalization — most stay in the hospital for less than 24 hours. In fact, the entire procedure lasts only about an hour and most women can return to the functions of their daily routines within two weeks.

UFE is effective and works best with a team effort. The minimally invasive procedure has a clinical success rate related to bleeding and other symptoms of about 85 percent to 95 percent.

Candidates for UFE

Ideal candidates include women who:

  • Are ages 35 to 50
  • Have not responded to hormone therapy
  • Have symptomatic fibroids
  • Want to keep their uterus
  • Do not want surgery
  • Want to minimize in-hospital recovery time
  • May not be good candidates for surgery

“I had already told some ladies about the program and how it helped me. I went there and realized that you no longer had to have a hysterectomy. It was also a shorter hospital stay and fewer complications — sounded great.”

– Margaret | Read more