Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Watch as Alex Powell, M.D., medical director of interventional radiology at Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, performs a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). The webcast will be moderated by interventional radiologist James Benenati, M.D., medical director of the Institute’s peripheral vascular laboratory. A Spanish version of the webcast is also available.
Between 20 and 40 percent of women past the age of 35 have one or more uterine fibroids. Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus. They can be as small as a pea or as large as a cantaloupe. Though common, fibroids may cause problems heavy menstrual bleeding to pelvic pain, bloating and urinary frequency.
Traditionally, a hysterectomy was a woman’s only fibroid treatment option. Today, UFE is a nonsurgical alternative for appropriate patients. The Institute’s physicians have performed more than 700 UFE procedures and have participated in UFE research trials since 2001. You can now observe this procedure as it happens—without leaving your computer.
During a UFE, the patient is sedated, but awake. To perform the procedure, an interventional radiologist makes a small incision that doesn’t require stitches in the patient’s upper thigh and inserts a catheter into her femoral artery. Using an X-ray image to “see”, the radiologist guides the catheter to the uterus. Next, the radiologist injects small particles into the artery feeding the fibroid. These particles block blood flow to the fibroid, causing it to shrink.
Embolization has been used successfully in other areas of the body for more than 20 years and is effective for nearly 90 percent of patients. For more than a decade, Institute physicians have researched and perfected this safe, effective, less invasive solution to uterine fibroids.
Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute was established at Baptist Hospital of Miami in 1987. Physicians and surgeons representing various specialties founded the Institute to provide comprehensive cardiovascular care. The Institute’s medical staff pursues federally approved clinical research studies to find better, less invasive ways to diagnose and treat uterine fibroids.
Dr. Benenati has published many landmark articles on UFE and participates in UFE research trials. Physicians from around the country have studied UFE techniques under Institute physicians. Dr. Powell is the Institute’s medical director of interventional radiology and has participated in many UFE clinical trials.
Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the region’s largest faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization. This network includes Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children's Hospital, South Miami Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital in the Upper Keys and Baptist Outpatient Services. Baptist Health Foundation, the organization's fundraising arm, supports services at all hospitals and facilities affiliated with Baptist Health.