Fibroid embolisation


A uterine fibroid is a benign, abnormal growth that develops in, or on the uterus.

A uterine fibroid embolisation is a procedure in which the main blood supply to the fibroid(s) is blocked. This reduces blood flow to the fibroid(s), and causes them to shrink over time, with improvement of the symptoms you are currently experiencing.


You will be given medication before the procedure to help relax and control pain, but you will remain awake during the procedure. Under x-ray guidance a small flexible plastic tube called a catheter is fed into the artery and then into the artery supplying the fibroids.

Embolisation material is injected to block the blood vessels supplying the fibroids.





Before the Procedure

Fasting: Do not eat or drink 4 hours prior to your procedure time

Allergies: Please tell Intra staff at the time of booking if you have any food or medication allergies, or previous reactions to X-ray contrast (dye)

Diabetes: If you are a diabetic, please tell Intra staff at the time of booking. You may need to discuss your insulin/diabetes medication doses with your radiologist.

Anticoagulants (blood thinner): If you are taking any blood thinners (e.g. Warfarin, Clexane, Pradaxa, Rivaroxaban), please make this known to Intra staff at the time of booking. Your interventional radiologist will advise you if you need to stop this medication temporarily for a few days before the procedure.

Other regular medications: Continue taking these, unless otherwise discussed with your interventional radiologist.

During the Procedure

A uterine fibroid embolisation procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist, and usually takes 60-90 minutes. You will also be connected to a pain pump, which can be used to help manage your pain during and after the procedure as required. Before the procedure you will be given pre-medication on the ward, and in the catheter lab to help you relax.

You will feel the local anaesthetic injection around the wrist or groin, which will sting for approximately 30 seconds.

A small hollow tube (sheath) will be inserted into the artery at your wrist or groin. Using contrast dye and fluoroscopy, a small catheter is then directed through the sheath into one, or both uterine arteries in the pelvis, which supply the main blood supply to the fibroid(s). Once this catheter is in position, embolisation material is injected to block the blood vessels.

After the Procedure

After the procedure you will be transferred to a hospital ward where you will recover overnight. If appropriate you will be discharged home the next morning.

• Someone must drive you home or accompany you in a taxi. Please arrange for accompanied transport in advance.

• Due to the sedation you may feel lethargic afterwards with reduced concentration. For this reason for 24 hours after your procedure please:

• Do not drive.

• Do not drink alcohol

• Do not make any legal decisions or sign legal documents.

• Do not do any activity requiring strength, concentration, or full alertness for the rest of the day. • You can undertake light activities such as walking.

• No heavy lifting (>5kg) for at least 5 days.

What are the risks?

As with any procedure, there are potential risks involved. Your interventional radiologist will explain the procedure, discuss possible risks and answer any questions you may have. You will then be asked to sign the consent form. This will occur on the day of your procedure.