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Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Is UFE right for me?

What are fibroids?

If you suffer from heavy or painful periods that impact your lifestyle, you could be suffering from symptomatic uterine fibroids. In addition to heavy periods, symptoms of fibroids can include:

  • Pelvic pain and discomfort
  • Bladder problems
  • Rectal pressure
  • Very uncomfortable periods
  • Infertility
  • Back pain
  • Anemia
  • Pain in the back of your legs
  • Pain during intercourse
  • An enlarged abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Bleeding between menstrual cycles

Who is at risk?

The majority of women with symptomatic fibroids are in the age range of 35 to 54, but fibroids can and do effect women outside this age range. Evidence also suggests that fibroids are more common in African American women and those who are overweight.

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor can perform a vaginal exam and check the size of your uterus. If it feels enlarged, your doctor may prescribe an ultrasound, which can confirm the presence, location and size of fibroid tumors. Other methods can be used to confirm uterine fibroids and rule out other, more serious medical concerns, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, it is important to speak about these with your OB-GYN or primary care physician.

What is UFE?

Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a highly successful non-surgical, minimally-invasive procedure. The procedure works by limiting blood flow to fibroid tumors, thus destroying them. It doesn’t require the use of general anesthesia and, because there is just a very tiny incision, no scar is left behind. Most UFE patients have relatively mild discomfort, are released from the hospital after an overnight stay and are back to their routines in about a week. It is a safe alternative to hysterectomy for the right candidates.

Is UFE right for you?

UFE may be the right choice for you if the following are applicable to you:

  • You are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, including heavy, painful periods
  • You have been diagnosed with symptomatic uterine fibroids
  • You want to avoid a hysterectomy
  • You are not a good surgical candidate or do not desire surgery
  • You are not pregnant
  • You want to preserve your uterus

How can you get started?

Patients who have been diagnosed with fibroid tumors, or believe they may have uterine fibroids, can schedule a consultation with Dr. Lewis, medical director of Chesapeake Regional’s Uterine Fibroid Center of Excellence, by calling 757-312-4279. Our UFE nurse navigator is also available at this number to answer any questions about the procedure or uterine fibroids. Click here to email our nurse navigator.

If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, speak with your OB-GYN or primary care physician about being examined for fibroids. They can advise you about your options.

Chesapeake Regional Healthcare is No. 1 in southeastern Virginia for UFE procedures, and Dr. Lewis is the most experienced UFE doctor in Virginia.

Uterine Fibroid Center of Excellence

Chesapeake Radiologists, Ltd.

736 Battlefield Blvd., North

Chesapeake, VA 23320



Treatment Options

Blood Tests

Although fibroids and cysts are noncancerous, your doctor may test your blood to look for abnormally high levels of substances in your blood that may indicate cancerous cells.


Sound waves create images of fibroids affecting your uterus and ovaries.

Saline infusion sonography

Fills the uterus with salt or saline solution so that ultrasound images can create more detailed images and diagnose the fibroid with greater accuracy.


Sound waves and magnets are used to take pictures that show the size and location of fibroids.


A tiny camera inserted via a long, flexible tube through the cervix takes images inside the uterus to identify fibroids and polyps. May be performed in a doctor’s office or in the operating room.