Women's Health

Uterine Artery Embolization and Fibroids

A Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE), also called Uterine Fibroid Embolization, is a minimally invasive option for treating uterine fibroids.


Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that develop in the walls of the uterus that can cause heavy bleeding, cramping, pain, frequent urination and bloating. Fibroids are also known as leiomyoma, myoma and fibromyoma. Fibroid tumors of the uterus are extremely common, but usually don’t cause symptoms. Only fibroids that cause symptoms need to be treated.

Treatment with Uterine Artery Embolization

Using real-time imaging, an interventional radiologist inserts a catheter into the blood vessels through a small skin nick. The catheter is then used to release microscopic particles into the uterine arteries that supply blood to the fibroids. The particles block the blood flow, which causes the fibroid to shrink and die.

Fibroids can also be treated with myomectomy and hysterectomy surgery, which is more invasive.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recognizes Uterine Artery Embolization as a safe and effective way to treat fibroids. Unfortunately, not all fibroids can be treated this way.

What to Expect

First, you will have a consultation with one of our interventional radiologists to determine if you have fibroids, if your fibroids are causing symptoms, and if Uterine Artery Embolization is right for you. An MRI is generally used to look at the fibroids.  

On the day of your treatment, you will come to the Aspirus Wausau Hospital. You will speak again with your interventional radiologist before your procedure. The procedure takes 2 - 3 hours.  After the procedure, you will be observed in the hospital overnight. You will receive medication to control any pain you may have. Not all women experience pain.


Schedule a consult with an interventional radiologist to discuss fibroids and Uterine Artery Embolization.