Uterine Fibroid Embolization Procedure in Oklahoma City
Dr. Parsons will explain all pre-procedureral testing, including MRI or Ultrasound. Conscious sedation or moderate sedation, which means you will be awake during the procedure but you will feel groggy, is typically performed.
UFE is performed as an outpatient fibroid treatment procedure in our state of the art facility. Dr. Parsons is the only physician in OKC to offer UFE in an outpatient setting. After you arrive at the facility, you will be prepped for the procedure by the staff. This includes initiating the sedation and other medication discussed during your consult. Other medications to help manage post-procedure effects may also be administered at this time. A detailed discussion of the medications that will be used in the management of your post-procedure care will be had. Once you feel groggy or sleepy, you will be moved to the Radiology Suite, where the fibroid treatment will be performed.
The procedure begins with a tiny incision in the groin area or wrist. This incision provides the access to arteries that feed the fibroids. Using specialized X-ray equipment, Dr. Parsons passes a small catheter (small tube) into the blood vessels that supply the fibroid tumor.
Once Dr. Parsons has reached the location of the fibroids, embolic material (tiny spheres) is injected through the catheter and into the blood vessels feeding the fibroid, which subsequently deprives oxygen to the fibroids, causing them to shrink. The embolic material remains permanently in the blood vessels at the fibroid site. Once Dr. Parsons has completed embolization of the uterine arteries, the catheter is gently removed. A small inflatable cuff is applied to the wrist, overlying access to the artery, until the artery has healed. The entire UFE treatment typically lasts less than one hour.
Post Procedure Management
Most women experience some degree of abdominal pain or cramping (similar to menstrual cramps) shortly after this treatment for uterine fibroids. This is a typically phenomenon also called post embolization syndrome, which happens secondary to shutting off the blood supply to an organ, or in this case the fibroid. It is described as having flu-like symptoms, such as low grade fever, fatigue and mild nausea. You will stay in the facility under the supervision of Dr. Parsons and nursing staff for 4-6 hours for symptom control.
Upon discharge, Dr. Parsons with have a medication regiment and instructions that you will need to keep you comfortable. Generally patients receive medications for pain management. Occasionally a patient experiences fever, which is usually treated with medication, and is a common side effect of embolization procedures. Post embolization syndrome may last a few hours or up to a few days after uterine fibroid embolization.
Patients can expect to begin returning to normal activities within a few days. However, you may continue to experience some cramping, similar to menstrual period cramping, that lasts a few days after the procedure.
Dr. Parsons will schedule your post-procedure appointments to check your recovery. Typical timeframes for these appointments are one week post-procedure, and three months post-procedure.