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Fibroid Embolisation

Fibroid Embolisation/Uterine Artery Embolisation (UAE)

This is now an established method for treating the symptoms of heavy bleeding and/or pelvic discomfort and pressure symptoms arising from enlarged fibroids, whilst avoiding major surgery. Guildford is the centre which has performed the largest number of these cases in the UK.

Prior to considering fibroid embolisation, you will have been seen by a gynaecologist to establish that your symptoms are due to fibroids, that there is no other gynaecological or hormonal problem that needs treating first and that the symptoms have not been controlled using medication alone. Part of your assessment will involve imaging in the form of an MRI scan and/or internal ultrasound scan. This will help determine the size and location of the fibroids and serve as a baseline prior to the procedure.

The procedure itself is performed under sedation and local anaesthetic through a pin-hole incision in the groin. The radiologist will guide the catheters using X-ray guidance along the arteries of the pelvis, selectively into the uterine arteries. Particles which block the blood supply to the fibroids will then be injected specifically into the uterine arteries. Most patients will need to stay in hospital for 1-2 nights.