While most women will undergo an ultrasound at their gynecologist's office to determine the presence of fibroid tumors, MRI has proven much more effective and has become the standard imaging tool used by interventional radiologists. By providing a definitive diagnosis, an MRI improves the level of care, allowing better for treatment options and better outcomes. MRI can determine if a fibroid tumor can be treated effectively using embolization or if another course of treatment (watchful waiting, medications, myomectomy or hysterectomy) would be more appropriate.
Uterine fibroid embolization
(UFE) is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the release of tiny FDA-approved particles into the two uterine arteries which block the supply of blood to the fibroids, causing them to shrink and die. UFE treats all existing uterine fibroids, giving significant or total relief from symptoms to about 85-90% of women who undergo the procedure. In a study of one group of women followed for six years, no tumor treated with UFE reappeared. UFE has been proven to be as successful as surgery, while causing less serious complications.
UFE is performed with conscious sedation by board-certified anesthesiologists. Conscious sedation is administered with a combination of medicines (a sedative and an anesthetic) that help the patient relax and help to minimize pain and discomfort during the procedure. The patient is usually able to stay awake and respond to verbal cues but may not be able to speak. The patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, oxygen level and alertness are carefully monitoring during and after the procedure. Conscious sedation is safe and effective and allows patients to recover quickly.