Uterine artery embolization (UAE) is also sometimes called uterine fibroid embolization. About 85-90 percent of women find significant symptom relief from UAE. This procedure can be done in an outpatient setting or require a one-day hospital stay. Recovery time is typically between five and 14 days.
In this procedure, your doctor blocks the uterine arteries with small, non-allergenic beads to cut off blood flow to the uterus and fibroids. The small incision leaves the uterus intact. The uterus typically recovers but the fibroids don't.
You can expect some pelvic pain after the procedure and may have to take pain medications for several days. One in five women experience a recurrence of their symptoms within five years of the treatment.
UAE Possible Side Effects
Although most women can still conceive, the effects of UAE on childbearing and pregnancy isn't known at this time.
There is a slight risk that the procedure could cause early menopause by blocking blood flow to the ovaries. There's a very small risk for a severe infection or not enough blood flow to the uterus, which could require a hysterectomy (about a 1 in 500 risk).