- In 2007, the first gorilla was treated with UFE for her fibroids.
- An estimated 13,000-14,000 UFE procedures are performed annually in the U.S. (as of 2004).
- Embolization of the uterine arteries is not new. It has been used successfully by interventional radiologists for more than 20 years to treat heavy bleeding after childbirth.
- Embolization has been used to treat tumors since 1966. Embolization to treat uterine fibroids has been performed since 1995 and the embolic particles are approved by the FDA specifically to treat uterine fibroid tumors, based on comparative trials showing similar efficacy with less serious complications compared to hysterectomy and myomectomy (the surgical removal of fibroids).
- Embolization of fibroids was first used as an adjunct to help decrease blood loss during myomectomy. To the surprise of the initial users of this method, many patients had spontaneous resolution of their symptoms after only the embolization and no longer needed the surgery.
- UFE is covered by most major insurance companies and is widely available across the country.
- Most women with symptomatic fibroids are candidates for UFE and should obtain a consult with an interventional radiologist to determine whether UFE is a treatment option for them. An ultrasound or MRI diagnostic test will help the interventional radiologist to determine if the woman is a candidate for this treatment.
viii. Many women wonder about the safety of leaving particles in the body. The embolic particles most commonly used in UFE have been available with FDA approval for use in people for more than 20 years. During that time, they have been used in thousands of patients without long-term complications.