How do you perform UFE?
The approach for UFE is like a heart catheterization. Patients are asleep during the procedure which takes about an hour to perform. They receive conscious (intravenous) sedation like you would get during a colonoscopy. Local anesthetic is placed in the right groin/top of the thigh area. A catheter is positioned under x-ray guidance into the blood supply of the uterus. This blood supply can be thought of as a tree with leaves. The trunk is the main uterine artery and the leaves are the branches that supply the fibroids. Tiny particles are injected which are specifically sized for the fibroid vessels. These vessels become blocked, resulting in pruning of the tree. The trunk stays open and supplies the normal uterine tissue, but the fibroids will start to wither away, soften, and eventually shrink in size.