Uterine Fibroid Embolization

This information is useful for adults
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Recognized for excellence in fibroid embolization treatment
  • Offering this proven treatment that is not widely available elsewhere
  • Access to some of the most technologically advanced imaging equipment

If you have uterine fibroids, you may want to know more about a procedure called embolization. It's a minimally invasive procedure that temporarily stops blood flow to certain organs or tissues and is often used to treat women diagnosed with uterine fibroids. 

During embolization, arteries leading to the uterus are blocked, killing benign fibroid tumors growing within it.

Radiologists at Yale Medicine have extensive experience performing embolizations. If you have fibroids, we can help you understand your various treatment options. Our radiologists work closely with gynecologists to ensure you have the information you need to decide the best treatment option for you, says Jeffrey Pollak, MD, a Yale Medicine radiologist and professor of radiology and biomedical imaging at Yale School of Medicine. At Yale Medicine, we offer uterine fibroid embolization; the treatment is well accepted but not widely available in other locations.

Uterine fibroids can cause heavy bleeding, pain, urinary frequency and bloating during and in between menstrual periods. Women with fibroids may consider several treatment options:

  • Prescription hormone therapy
  • Surgery to remove just the fibroids or the entire uterus  
  • Fibroid embolization

Embolization may be a good choice for women who don’t want to have any more children, but who also don’t want an invasive surgery such as a hysterectomy. It's important to know that it may be harder to become pregnant after embolization, and there may also be a slightly increased risk of miscarriage if you do become pregnant.

Fibroids are often diagnosed by a gynecologist, who may refer a patient to a radiologist to discuss embolization. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the patient’s pelvis can help the radiologist rule out other potential causes of the symptoms and determine whether the patient is a good candidate for embolization.

At Yale Medicine, doctors discuss the pros and cons of each treatment option with you before deciding on a course of action.