Uterine Fibroid Treatment

Avoid a hysterectomy or myomectomy. There is a minimally invasive alternative.

Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) or Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a proven treatment option for symptomatic fibroids and offer the following benefits:

    • Uterus retained
    • Reduces heavy periods
    • Reduces bulk of fibroids
    • Low risk
    • Minimally invasive
    • Fertility and childbearing ability not necessarily compromised
    • No post-hysterectomy discomfort or recovery phase
Fibroid Facts:

Uterine fibroids are very common non-cancerous (benign) growths of  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.

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

    • Heavy, prolonged menstrual periods , 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

About 10% of women have fibroids but only 10-20% of women who have fibroids (symptomatic fibroids) require treatment. 80-90% of women who have UAE for the treatment of symptomatic fibroids may need no further treatment.

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 anaesthesia. A tiny nick (2 mm) 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 flecks 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.

The overall procedure takes about an hour.

‘80-90% of women who have UAE for the treatment of symptomatic fibroids need no further treatment.’

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/anti-inflammatories (pain killers) are prescribed for the next few days. Many women resume normal activities in a few days.

If heavy bleeding (menorrhagia) has been the reason for UAE, your symptoms should be relieved by the next period. The fibroid mass shrinks over about twelve months thus relieving you of the symptoms of pain and/or bulk-related symptoms.

Does the procedure hurt?No, Local anaesthesia and sedation onlyNo, General anaesthesia
How long do I stay in hospital?Overnight3 or 4 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 recordedNot uncommon but may be
Is there a risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pelvic Haematoma?None recordedYes - depending on surgical
technique and period of

The Next Steps

Download a letter you may wish to read and have on hand when you consult your Family Practitioner

You will then need to:


    See your doctor for a referral to gynecologist


    Obtain a referral to Dr Robertson from a gynecologist to be eligible for Medicare benefits


    Consult with Dr Donald Robertson to discuss procedure so you can make an informed decision

    Make an appointment to consult Dr Donald Robertson