What is UFE?

Any living tissue in the body requires an intact blood supply to remain viable. If the blood supply is cut off and not rapidly restored the tissue infarcts (dies) and is partially reabsorbed by the body. In Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) the blood supply to the fibroids is intentionally cut off (embolized), the fibroids infarct and shrink, with resolution of symptoms.

UFE Before and After

History of UFE

Embolization is a procedure that is commonly performed by interventional radiologists and has been successfully applied to arteries in every part of the body to stop bleeding, block abnormal vessels, and treat tumors. Uterine artery embolization (UAE=UFE) has been used for over 20 years to stop life threatening bleeding after childbirth.

In the early 1990s Dr. Ravina, a French gynecologist who specialized in fibroid surgery, began a clinical trial to study the effectiveness of adjunctive preoperative UAE in minimizing intra- and postprocedural bleeding. Patients were embolized and then scheduled for surgery a few weeks to months later. In those patients who went on to surgery a reduction in blood loss was noted. Interestingly, several patients experienced relief of their fibroid symptoms following UAE and canceled their surgery. Based on this serendipitous discovery he began offering UAE as a primary treatment for symptomatic fibroids.

In 1997 Dr. Goodwin, at UCLA, first reported on early experience with UFE in the U.S. Since then the procedure has rapidly expanded and it is estimated that over 100,000 patients have been treated worldwide. Published data continues to accumulate with all series reporting an excellent response rate with few complications.

Technique | Results | Advantages | Who's a Candidate | Side Effects | Contraindications

"On a scale of 1 to 10 I rate my UFE experience a 10 for the following reasons: less invasive and quick recovery time. Dr. Cockerill and the team were wonderful (professional).

I would strongly encourage women to do their research and ask fact finding questions before consenting to the standard fair used to treat benign uterine fibroids. Ladies this revolutionary procedure deserves a look see check out the overall success rate too."
Susie, age 46