Uterine Fibroid

A safe, nonsurgical treatment for uterine fibroids is now offered at Wake Radiology’s outpatient interventional center in Raleigh, NC.


Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UAE/UFE) is a nonsurgical treatment performed to treat women with symptomatic uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are a common health issue among women, often causing discomfort, pain, and other troublesome symptoms. Fortunately, interventional radiologists offer an effective and minimally-invasive solution called uterine fibroid embolization.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization is typically covered by the majority of insurance companies and offers a substantial cost savings in comparison to both hysterectomy and myomectomy procedures.

The Role of our Interventional Radiologists

The Interventional radiologists at Wake Radiology specialize in using advanced imaging techniques to guide minimally-invasive procedures.  Interventional radiologists are instrumental in offering an effective, less invasive alternative to surgery for uterine fibroid treatment, helping patients find relief from symptoms.

Did you know that 9 out of 10 women who have UFE experience significant improvement or complete resolution of their symptoms. 

What are Uterine Fibroids?

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas or myomas, are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. These growths are composed of muscle and connective tissue and can vary in size from small, pea-sized nodules to larger growths that can distort the shape and size of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are one of the most common types of tumors found in the female reproductive system.

The exact cause of uterine fibroids is not well understood, but they are thought to be influenced by hormonal factors, primarily estrogen and progesterone. Factors that may increase the risk of developing uterine fibroids include family history, age (more common in women in their 30s and 40s), and certain ethnic backgrounds (African-American women are at higher risk).

Most women with uterine fibroids do not experience any symptoms, but when symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Menstrual changes: Heavier, longer, or irregular menstrual periods.
  • Pelvic pain and pressure: Fibroids can cause discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen or back.
  • Pain during intercourse: Some women may experience pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Frequent urination or difficulty emptying the bladder: Large fibroids can press against the bladder, causing urinary symptoms.
  • Constipation or difficulty with bowel movements: In rare cases, fibroids may press on the rectum and cause these symptoms.
  • Backache or leg pains: If fibroids press on nerves, they may cause back pain or leg pain.

Diagnosing Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids can be diagnosed through a combination of medical history, physical examination, and various diagnostic tests.

Here are a few of the typical steps involved in diagnosing uterine fibroids:

Medical History: The healthcare provider will begin by taking a detailed medical history, which may include questions about your menstrual cycles, symptoms you’re experiencing, and any relevant family history. It’s important to describe any pelvic pain, heavy or irregular periods, or other unusual symptoms.

Physical Examination: A pelvic exam will be performed to check for the presence of any abnormal growths, including fibroids, in the uterus. During this exam, the healthcare provider will manually feel the size and shape of the uterus.

Imaging Tests: To confirm the presence of uterine fibroids and to evaluate their size and location, imaging tests are often used. These may include:

a. Ultrasound: Transvaginal or abdominal ultrasound is commonly used to visualize the uterus and any fibroids. It can provide detailed information about the size, number, and location of the fibroids.

b. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): MRI can offer a more detailed and precise view of the fibroids, especially when further characterization is needed.

c. CT (Computed Tomography) Scan: In some cases, a CT scan may be used to assess the extent of fibroids or their impact on surrounding structures.

Uterine Fibroids Can Be Treated

Hysterectomy: While hysterectomy is an effective treatment for uterine fibroids, it is a major surgical procedure that involves the removal of the uterus. There are several potential negative aspects and considerations associated with having a hysterectomy for uterine fibroids:

-Loss of Fertility
-Psychological & Emotional Impact
-Surgical Risks
-Long Recovery Time

Myomectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove uterine fibroids while preserving the uterus. While myomectomy has several advantages, it also has some potential negative aspects and considerations:

-Potential for Fibroid Recurrence
-Risks to Fertility
-Surgical Risks
-Long Recovery Time

Myomectomy may not be suitable for all fibroid cases, especially if the fibroids are large, numerous, or located in certain areas of the uterus. In such cases, the surgical procedure may be more challenging or may not provide optimal results.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE):  UFE is a non-surgical procedure that is an alternative to hysterectomy and myomectomy for treating uterine fibroids.  Here are some of the benefits of uterine fibroid embolization compared to hysterectomy and myomectomy:

-Outpatient Procedure
-Shorter Recovery Time
-Less Pain and Scarring
-Preserves Fertility
-Reduced Blood Loss



Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), also known as uterine artery embolization, is a minimally invasive medical procedure used to treat women with symptomatic uterine fibroids. During UFE,  a interventional radiologist at Wake Radiology inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel, usually in the groin or wrist. The catheter is guided to the uterine arteries that supply blood to the fibroids. Once in position, tiny particles or embolic agents, often made of plastic or gelatin, are injected through the catheter into the uterine arteries. These embolic agents block the blood flow to the fibroids, which causes them to shrink and die off.

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is advantageous due to its shorter recovery time, with most patients resuming their normal activities in approximately one week.


Benefits & Effectiveness of Uterine Fibroid Embolization


  • Non-surgical: UFE is a non-surgical procedure that does not require incisions or the removal of the uterus. Hysterectomy involves the complete removal of the uterus, while myomectomy involves the surgical removal of fibroids from the uterus. UFE preserves the uterus and its potential for future childbearing.
    Recovery after UFE is generally quicker than recovery after surgical procedures like hysterectomy or myomectomy. Patients often experience less pain and can typically return to their normal activities within a week, whereas surgical procedures may require several weeks of recovery.
  • Symptom relief: UFE effectively alleviates symptoms associated with uterine fibroids, including heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain.
  • Preservation of the uterus: Unlike surgical options like hysterectomy, UFE allows women to retain their uterus and fertility potential.
  • Accessibility: UFE treats all types of uterine fibroids regardless of size and location.


With an impressively high satisfaction rate of nearly 90%, Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) stands out as one of the most successful and safest alternatives to invasive hysterectomy procedures. This treatment offers a range of benefits, including:

  • 90% improvement in symptoms after one year
  • Reduced menstrual bleeding & improved urinary function

How to Schedule Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Scheduling Information

UFE procedures are performed at Wake Radiology’s West Raleigh Interventional Center.

4301 Lake Boone Trail, Ste. 104
Raleigh, NC 27607

Mon – Fri: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Phone: 919-788-1916 Fax: 919-781-1535

Is UFE Covered By Insurance?

Uterine Fibroid Embolization at Wake Radiology is covered by most insurance companies and offers significant cost savings when compared to hysterectomy and myomectomy, primarily because it is a non-surgical outpatient procedure with a shorter recovery period.

Wake Radiology UFE Graphic


Request Information & Schedule Consultation

Call our Interventional Scheduling Team today to schedule a UFE consultation: 919-788-1916. To learn more, complete the following form.

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