Your doctor may recommend a type of minimally invasive procedure called embolization to treat fibroids. This nonsurgical procedure is often performed on an outpatient basis by an interventional radiologist.
Uterine fibroid embolization works by cutting off the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink. During the procedure, your doctor inserts a small tube called a catheter into an artery in the wrist or groin, and threads it to the blood vessels that supply the fibroids. The doctor then injects small particles into the vessels. This blocks the blood supply, causing the fibroids to shrink.
Uterine fibroid embolization is performed with sedation and a local anesthetic. In most cases, a hospital stay is not required and you go home immediately after recovering from the procedure. Pelvic cramping is possible for up to 24 hours. Light activity may be resumed in a few days, with return to normal activity within 5 to 10 days. The doctor prescribes pain medication as needed.
Uterine fibroid embolization is safe and effective for multiple fibroids or very large fibroids. Many women no longer experience fibroids after the procedure.
Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.