UFE improvements continue to revolutionize this highly desirable fibroid treatment.

Uterine fibroid embolization improved lives

Thirty years ago, a diagnosis of fibroids usually meant only one thing: a hysterectomy. There simply were no other viable alternatives.

For decades now, women have had access to the minimally-invasive uterine fibroid treatment treatment option. Significantly, UFE can preserve fertility, lower the risk of complications, and has up to 90 percent success rate.1.

Even better, UFE, which began to be used in the United States in 1997, is continuing to make strides that render it ever more effective and safe for women suffering from symptoms of fibroids.

UFE improvements: embolics

In the UFE procedure, embolics are surgically safe particles that the interventional radiologist uses to block blood supply to the fibroids and make them shrink.

Originally, doctors could use non-spherical polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) particles or gelatin sponge. Unfortunately, these two materials yielded particles of different sizes and led to problems like clogged catheters and uncontrolled embolization.2,3

The solution to these problems is Embosphere Microspheres. These are round particles that have quickly become the most commonly used embolic, as well as the most carefully studied. They are now the standard of care for UFE.4

Embosphere Microspheres are effective because of their standard size and shape. As a result, they block 90 percent or more of blood vessels providing nutrients to the fibroid in 96 percent of patients treated with these particles.5 As a result, patients treated with these particles experience successful procedures and rarely require retreatment.6,7,8

UFE improvements: imaging

Another area of UFE that has enjoyed advances within the last 20 years has been the imaging techniques used in the procedure. Ultrasound was originally used, but other, more accurate techniques, such as MRIs, have arisen. MRI, for example, outperforms ultrasounds as far as determining the size of the uterus, the number of fibroids, their location, etc.9,10

UFE improvements: pain management

Finally, pain management has improved since UFE was first practiced the United States in 1997. For example, using a tiny nick in the wrist tends to be more manageable than even a nick in the groin. A nerve block can create a pain-free procedure. As a result, the procedure moved from being an inpatient to an outpatient procedure. With about an hour for the UFE and no more than 3 hours of recovery, a patient can come in before having breakfast but be home by lunch.

VIVA EVE and UFE improvements

Women who have researched, advocated for themselves, informed others, and demanded changes in their care helped spearhead improvements in UFE. They’ve shown their desire for less invasive fibroid treatment procedures and no doubt the UFE improvements will continue.

The doctors at VIVA EVE have years of UFE experience with uterine fibroids as well as adenomyosis. We are provide high-quality, personalized care for each and every patient we see. We’ll partner with you to determine the best way to treat your problematic symptoms. Please click here or call 1-866-684-8238 to schedule an appointment with one of our fibroid experts.

Sources for information referenced in this post

  • Silberzweig, J. E., Powell, D. K., Matsumoto, A. H., et al. (2016). Management of uterine fibroids: a focus on uterine-sparing interventional techniques. Radiology, Sep;280(3):675-692.
  • Pelage, J., Laurent, A., Wassef, M., et al. (2002). Uterine artery embolization in sheep: Comparison of acute effects with polyvinyl alcohol particles and calibrated microspheres. Radiology, Aug;224(2):436-445.
  • Worthington-Kirsch, R. (2008, Jun). Do Particle Size and Type Matter? Endovascular Today.
  • Siskin, G. (2016). Retrieved from Mastering Embolic Choices in UFE: Current Evidence. Global Embolization Cancer Symposium Technologies. [PowerPoint slides].
  • Duvnjak, S., Ravn, P., Green, A., et al. (2017). Assessment of uterine fibroid infarction after embolization with tris-acryl gelatin microspheres. Cogent Med, Aug;4(1):1360543.
  • Katsumori, T., Kasahara, T., Kin, Y., et al. (2008). Infarction of uterine fibroids after embolization: Relationship between postprocedural enhanced MRI findings and long-term clinical outcomes. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol, Jan-Feb;31(1):66–72.
  • Koesters, C., Powerski, M. J., Froeling, V., et al. (2012). Uterine artery embolization in single symptomatic leiomyoma: Do anatomical imaging criteria predict clinical presentation and long-term outcome? Acta Radiol, May;55(4):441–449.
  • Kroencke, T. J., Scheurig, C., Poellinger, A., et al. (2010). Uterine artery embolization for leiomyomas: Percentage of infarction predicts clinical outcome. Radiology, Jun;255(3):834–841.
  • Gonsalves, C. (2008). Uterine artery embolization for treatment of symptomatic fibroids. Semin Intervent Radiol, Dec;25(4):369-377.
  • Spielmann, A. L., Keogh, C., Forster, B. B., et al. (2006). Comparison of MRI and sonography in the preliminary evaluation for fibroid embolization. AJR Am J Roentgenol, Dec;187(6):1499-504.