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Guide to Uterine Fibroids



In 2016, an interventional radiology treatment changed my life. Thanks to uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), gone was the chronic pain I endured for years on end. A short procedure, a one-night stay at the hospital and my symptoms began to subside almost immediately. One month after the treatment, my symptoms had completely disappeared. UFE provides a very attractive alternative to hysterectomy.

– Gayle Finlay

Q & A

What are uterine fibroids?

Fibroid tumors are noncancerous (benign) growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. While fibroids do not always cause symptoms, their size and location can lead to problems for some women, including pain and heavy bleeding.

Who is most likely to have uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are very common, although often they are very small and cause no problems. Between 20% to 40% of women age 35 and older have uterine fibroids of significant size.

What are the typical symptoms?

Depending on location, size and number of fibroids, they may cause:

  • Heavy, prolonged menstrual periods and unusual monthly bleeding, sometimes with clots. This often leads to anemia.
  • Pelvic pressure or heaviness
  • Pain in the back or legs, and during sexual intercourse
  • Bladder pressure leading to a constant urge to urinate
  • Pressure on the bowel, leading to constipation and bloating
  • Enlarged abdomen

How are uterine fibroids treated?

Most fibroids do not cause symptoms and are not treated. When they do cause symptoms, drug therapy often is the first step in the treatment. Fibroids often grow back after therapy is discontinued.

When drug therapy doesn’t work, a common minimally invasive treatment option is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). UFE also represents a very interesting alternative to hysterectomies (the complete removal of the uterus).

How does UFE work?

UFE is a minimally invasive procedure, performed while a patient is conscious but sedated – drowsy and feeling no pain. UFE is performed by an interventional radiologist; a physician who is specially trained to perform this and other minimally invasive procedures, with the assistance of a team composed of medical radiation technologists and specialized nurses.

How successful is the fibroid embolization procedure?

Performed as a treatment since 1995, studies show that 78 to 94 percent of women who have the procedure experience significant or total relief of heavy bleeding, pain and other symptoms. The procedure also is effective for multiple fibroids. Recurrence of treated fibroids is very rare.

How to learn more about UFE?

This procedure is now available at hospitals and medical centers across the country. To find out more about UFE, please consult with your family doctor about uterine fibroid embolization.

Relevant resources

The uterine fibroid checklist – Society of Interventional Radiology
Embolization for uterine fibroids – CIRSE
Uterine Fibroid Embolization – Cedars-Sinai
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) –
The Interventional Initiative

List of facilities

Contact the following facilities only if your physician has confirmed that your symptoms are due to uterine fibroids.

Georgian Radiology

11 Lakeside Terrace, Suite LL01
Barrie Ontario L4M 0H9

Phone: 705-722-8036

• Dr. Chris Guest
• Dr. Drew Schemmer
• Dr. Mark Baerlocher
• Dr. Nick Lougheed
• Dr. Mike Schmidt

Lakeridge Health Oshawa

1 Hospital Ct
Oshawa Ontario L1G 2B9

Téléphone: 905-576-8711 ext. 33527

• Dr.Andy Myers
• Dr.Murray Asch
• Dr.Edmund Ng
• Dr.Sean Galante

Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital

5415 Assumption Blvd
Montreal Quebec H1T 2M4

Phone: 514-252-3400 ext: 6159
Fax: 514-251-7768

• Dr. Veronique Caty

McGill University Health Centre

1001 Decarie Blvd, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1

Phone: 514-934-4454
Fax: 514-843-2893

• Dr. Ali Bessissow
• Dr. Louis-Martin Boucher
• Dr. Tatiana Cabrera
• Dr. Karl Muchantef
• Dr. Carlos Torres
• Dr. David Valenti

Mount Sinai Hospital

600 University Ave
Toronto Ontario M5G 1X5

Phone: 416-586-4666
Fax: 416-586-8695

• Dr. Ganesh Annamalai
• Dr. Rob Beecroft
• Dr. Arash Jaberi
• Dr. John Kachura

North York General Hospital

4001 Leslie Street
Toronto ON M2K 1E1

Phone: 416-756-6189
Fax: 416-756-6766

  • Dr. Hassan Deif
  • Dr. Patrick Kennedy

Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus

1053 Carling Ave
Ottawa Ontario K1Y 4E9

Phone: 613-798-5555 ext. 16104
Fax: 613-759-9340

• Dr. Pasteur Rasuli
• Dr. Adnan Hadziomerovic

Scarborough Health Network – General Campus

3050 Lawrence Avenue East
Scarborough Ontario M1P 2V5

Phone: 416-438-2911 ext. 6985

• Dr. Vik Agarwal

St. Michael’s Hospital

30 Bond St
Toronto Ontario M5B 1W8

• Dr. Andrew Common

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

2075 Bayview Ave
Toronto Ontario M4N 3M5

• Dr. Elizabeth David

Toronto Western Hospital

399 Bathurst St
Toronto Ontario M5T 2S8

Phone: 416-603-6276
Fax: 416-603-4257

• Dr. Dheeraj Rajan
• Dr. Martin Simons
• Dr. Kongteng Tan

Victoria Hospital

800 Commissioners Rd East
London Ontario N6A 5W9

Phone: 519-685-8500 ext. 54965

• Dr. Amol Mujoomdar
• Dr. Derek Cool
• Dr. Jonathan Chung
• Dr. Sean Galante