Uterine Fibroid Embolization Specialist

Goke Akinwande, MD -  - Vascular and Interventional Radiologist

Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy

Goke Akinwande, MD

Vascular and Endovascular Specialist located in St. Louis, MO, Farmington, MO & Swansea, IL

When you’re diagnosed with uterine fibroids, you can get rid of the growths with uterine fibroid embolization. This minimally invasive procedure is a safe option that leads to significant or complete pain relief in 90% of women. As a fellowship-trained vascular specialist, Goke Akinwande, MD, at Midwest Institute for Non-surgical Therapy (MINT), has extensive experience performing uterine fibroid embolization procedures. To learn if you’re a good candidate, call one of the offices in Creve Coeur, Farmington or St. Louis, Missouri, or book an appointment online today.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization Q&A

What is uterine fibroid embolization?

Uterine fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that treats fibroids by cutting off their blood supply. When blood flow stops, the fibroids shrink and die. The procedure significantly improves your symptoms while also preserving an intact, healthy uterus.

Compared to surgery, the benefits of uterine fibroid embolization include no scarring, a safer procedure with less bleeding, and a shorter recovery. Uterine fibroid embolization also lets you avoid hormonal therapies that are sometimes used to treat fibroids.

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow from tissues in your uterus. Fibroids typically develop inside the uterine wall, but they can also grow in the uterine cavity or on the outside of the uterus.

You can have one or multiple fibroids. They can be so small they don’t cause problems or grow large enough to cause severe symptoms.

What symptoms indicate the need for uterine fibroid embolization?

The most common symptoms caused by uterine fibroids include:

  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Long menstrual periods
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Lower back pain

In some women, uterine fibroids cause infertility or miscarriages. 

What happens during uterine fibroid embolization? 

Your MINT provider applies a local anesthetic and makes a tiny pinhole incision in your groin or wrist. Then they insert a catheter and use real-time imaging to guide it to the tiny vessels supplying blood to the fibroid. 

After the catheter is in position, your provider releases tiny particles from the catheter. These particles, called embolic agents, stick to the blood vessel wall, blocking the artery and stopping blood from flowing into the fibroid.

Your provider repeats the same procedure for each fibroid and for all the arteries serving each one.

What should I expect after uterine fibroid embolization?

You may experience pain after the procedure, but it doesn’t last long, and you can get back to your usual activities in one week. The first three days after your procedure, you may develop post-embolization syndrome. 

Post-embolization syndrome causes symptoms such as cramping, fatigue, and a low-grade fever that lasts 2-7 days. You should notice an improvement in your fibroid symptoms within 2-3 weeks.

If you’re diagnosed with uterine fibroids, call Midwest Institute for Non-surgical Therapy or book an appointment online to learn if uterine fibroid embolization is a good option for you.