Vascular Intervention provides an alternative to hysterectomy and myomectomy using the proven technique: Uterine Artery Embolization.

Nonsurgical Uterine Artery Embolization

The Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) procedure is minimally invasive and performed while the patient is still conscious, but sedated. It does not require general anethesia and the patient has no feeling of pain. A tiny nick (3mm) is made in the skin in the groin and a catheter is inserted into the femoral artery. Using real-time x-ray imaging, Dr Robertson guides the catheter through the artery to the Fibroid(s) and then releases tiny particles, (the size of grains of sand), into the arteries that supply blood to the fibroid. This blocks the blood flow to the fibroid and causes it to die, scar and shrink. On average this procedure takes less than an hour.

Recovery Time

After the Fibroid embolization treatment you will be transferred to the recovery area and kept comfortable and pain free for the rest of the day. After an overnight hospital stay you should be able to return home. Oral analgesics (pain killers) are prescribed for the next few days. Many women resume light activities in a few days and the majority of women are able to return to normal activities in a matter of days.
If heavy bleeding (menorrhagia) has been the reason for UAE, your symptoms should be relieved by the next period. Over a period of months the fibroids usually shrink thus relieving you of the pain and/or bulk-related symptoms.

Does the procedure hurt? No, Local anaesthesia and sedation only No, General anaesthesia
How long do I stay in hospital? Overnight 3 or 4 days
When can I return to normal work? 2-3 days


Is there pain after the procedure?
Often, but only for the first day or two and well managed with analgesia Yes, but becomes progressively less over the first 7-10 days. Treated with analgesia
Will it cause sexual dysfunction (vaginal dryness, difficulty in orgasm) ? None recorded Not uncommon but may be temporary
Is there a risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pelvic Haematoma? None recorded Yes - depending on surgical technique and period of hospitalisation

What are Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are very common non-cancerous (benign) growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. They vary in size from tiny to the size of a cantaloupe. Sometimes, they can cause the uterus to expand to the size of a five-month pregnancy. In most cases, there is more than one fibroid in the uterus. Not all fibroids cause symptoms, although their size and location can lead to problems including heavy bleeding (menorrhagia) and pain.
Uterine fibroids are sometimes referred to as "fibroids" or by several other
names, including leiomyomata, myomata and fibromyomata.

Uterine Fibroid

Depending on size, location and number of fibroids, they may cause:

  • Heavy, prolonged menstrual periods  and unusual monthly bleeding, sometimes with large clots. This can lead to anemia.
  • Pelvic pain and pressure
  • Pain in the back and legs
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bladder pressure leading to a    frequent urge to urinate
  • Pressure on the bowel, leading to constipation and bloating
  • Abnormally enlarged abdomen


10-20% of women who have fibroids require treatment. 80-90% of women who have UAE for the treatment of symptomatic fibroids need no further treatment.

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