Patients generally notice some relief of both menorrhagia and mass-effect symptoms during the first few weeks after uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). Shrinkage of the fibroids continues to take place over several months, peaking somewhere between 3 and 6 months, with measurable shrinkage sometimes noted for up to 1 year. The timing of follow-up visits is intended to coincide with the time course of improvement so that diagnostic imaging and intervention can be performed if symptoms worsen or relief does not appear to be on schedule. The amount of shrinkage of fibroids correlates neither with the intensity of immediate postprocedure symptoms or the degree of symptom relief. Affected fibroids undergo hyaline degeneration, a process in which the hard, cellular tumor is replaced by softer, acellular material. A nationwide registry has been constructed for the accumulation of procedural and follow-up data so that success and complication rates can be accurately determined and long-term issues about the durability of UFE and possible side effects can be addressed.
View details for PubMedID 12098107