Uterine fibroid embolization, also known as uterine artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure performed by Dr. Hardee and Dr. Fox, board certified Vascular and Interventional Radiologists (VIR). Interventional Radiologists are medical doctors with extensive training and experience in minimally invasive procedures. More than 2,000 of these particular procedures have been performed in-office by Drs. Fox and Hardee at our Houston, Katy, and Sugar Land locations.
The entire fibroid treatment typically lasts less than one hour, and is performed as an outpatient therapy. Patients usually have to stay up to 23 hours after the procedure is complete. The uterine fibroid embolization procedure begins with insertion of a tiny catheter through an artery in the groin or wrist. Using specialized X-ray equipment, the catheter (small tube) is guided into each uterine artery and small spherical particles (embolic material) are injected through the catheter and into the blood flow leading to the uterine fibroid tumors.
The embolic material is designed to block the vessels around the fibroid, depriving it of the blood and oxygen it needs to grow. The blood and oxygen deprivation results in fibroids shrinking. The embolic material remains permanently in the blood vessels at the fibroid site.
Once Dr. Hardee or Dr. Fox has completed embolization of the uterine artery on both sides, the catheter is gently removed and pressure is applied over the arterial puncture site to stop any bleeding. After the procedure, you will experience some degree discomfort such as abdominal cramping or pain. Dr. Hardee and Dr. Fox will utilize a comprehensive pain management protocol with medications that will keep you comfortable. The post-procedure care that you receive will be administered by skilled nurses under the direction of Dr. Hardee and Dr. Fox. Post procedure appointments will be scheduled to evaluate your progress after the uterine fibroid embolization procedure.