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Patient Instructions

Before coming in for uterine fibroid embolization, please review the following instructions for patients for before and after the procedure.

Before the Procedure

Routine blood tests will be performed prior to your procedure.

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your procedure. You should take any medications you usually take the morning of the procedure unless you have been instructed otherwise by our team. Please use a very small amount of water to swallow any pills.

During the Procedure

Upon arrival to VCU Health Center, please go to our Gateway Building and register at Patient Admitting Services on the third floor.

During the procedure, which typically lasts between 45 and 90 minutes, you will be awake but comfortably sedated. Local anesthesia will be used to numb the tiny incision site on the wrist or groin where the doctor enters the artery.

Thanks to the minimally invasive nature of this procedure, catheter placement requires only a small nick in the skin — about the circumference of a pencil tip. The uterine arteries are easily accessed from the radial artery in the wrist or the femoral artery in the groin. A catheter, or small tube, is then advanced into the uterine arteries which give blood supply to the fibroids. An angiogram, or x-ray study of the blood vessels,

is then performed to provide a road map of the blood supply to the uterus and fibroids.
Next, thousands of tiny particles are delivered to the arteries feeding the fibroids, blocking the blood supply to them. Blood flow to the uterus will still be present, but flow to the fibroids will be eliminated.  

After the Procedure

Once the procedure is complete, you will be transferred to the recovery unit and will receive pain control. You will be discharged within two to four of the procedure with thorough instructions for home as well as any prescriptions for medications.

You should increase your fluid intake for the first week after your procedure and resume your usual diet. It may take several days for your normal appetite to return. 

Outpatient Follow-Up

A member of the medical staff will call you within 24 to 48 hours after you have been discharged and within seven to ten days, you will have your first follow-up appointment.

You will be seen again at six months to completely assess your response to the procedure.

You should continue routine gynecological care. 

For More Information

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the procedure, please call the VCU Uterine Fibroid Embolization hotline at (804) 828-4914.