Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), a non-surgical treatment alternative for symptoms caused by uterine fibroid tumors. First performed in France in the early 1990’s, UFE (also known as uterine artery embolization) has been performed successfully and safely in thousands and thousands of women worldwide. UFE has been shown to effectively control heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) as a result of uterine fibroids in 85 to 95 percent of patients undergoing this procedure. It has been shown to control bulk related symptoms, including pelvic pressure, pelvic pain, frequent urination, constipation, and back pain in 80 to 95 percent of patients. UFE has been shown to have lower major complication rates than more invasive traditional surgical treatment options and also offers the following advantages:

  • Shorter recovery time: an average of one week
  • Shorter hospital stay: most patients are discharged the morning after the procedure
  • Less invasive procedure without surgical scars
  • No need for general anesthesia
  • Ability to treat almost all types of fibroids once
  • No evidence that the fibroids return once treated, unlike some surgical options

While many patients with fibroid tumors are candidates for embolization, a detailed medical evaluation must be performed to determine if this procedure is a treatment option available to you. St. Luke’s Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiology Department is home to the UFE clinic led by Dr. John Fischer. Dr. Fischer began performing UFE in 2000. To date, he has performed thousands of minimally-invasive, image-guided procedures and hundreds of embolization procedures, many of them for uterine fibroids.

UFE has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment option for the symptoms caused by uterine fibroid tumors in many women. This procedure is less invasive than traditional surgical treatment options (hysterectomy and myomectomy), has a significantly shorter recovery time (average of seven days), lower major complication rates, does not require general anesthesia, and may allow for preservation of fertility in patients who may still desire pregnancy. Ask your doctor or contact us directly for more information concerning this promising new procedure.

To schedule an appointment with the St. Luke's UFE Clinic, call 832-355-4112.

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is an advanced therapy using focused ultrasound technology to treat uterine fibroids by heating and destroying the tissue. St. Luke’s is one of only three centers in the United States chosen for a Philips Healthcare-sponsored clinical trial of MRI-guided HIFU removal of uterine fibroids, which allows the surgeon to observe the ultrasound path during treatment and monitor the temperature increase in the fibroid tissue during the procedure.

This MRI technology provides greater focus of the ultrasound together with other advances that permit a physician to complete a procedure in approximately half the time required for current FDA-approved technology. With HIFU, a patient avoids surgery and an overnight hospital stay, typically has a quick recovery of only one to three days, does not require constant medication and receives no radiation.