Uterine fibroids

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Uterine Fibroid Treatment Options

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths within the uterus that often appear during childbearing years and affect as many as three out of four women. In the past, women generally required a hysterectomy to remove fibroids. Today Inova hospitals offer additional and better treatment options.

Treating fibroids

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE)

UFE is a revolutionary, minimally invasive procedure with a 95 percent success rate. Embolization has replaced hysterectomy as the treatment of choice for many women with fibroids. Fibroid embolization is available at all Inova hospitals.

During embolization, an interventional radiologist makes a small incision in the skin and inserts a thin tube (catheter) into the main artery of the thigh. The doctor guides the catheter into the uterine artery. Tiny grains of plastic or gelatin are pumped through the catheter into the uterine artery where they block the blood supply to the fibroids. Once the fibroids' blood supply is blocked, they shrink and die.

Inova Alexandria Hospital Fibroid Program is one of the largest, most successful UFE programs in the country. Their physicians were among the first in the mid-Atlantic to perform the procedure.

Other treatment options for fibroids include:

  • Myomectomy, which removes only the fibroids, not the uterus. This surgery is performed using a hysteroscope (a small scope inserted through the vagina and cervix), a laparoscope (a scope inserted through small incisions in the abdomen), or abdominal surgery (requiring incisions through the abdomen and the uterus).
  • Hysterectomy removes the entire uterus either by a laparoscopic procedure through the vagina, or by an open surgical procedure. Uterine fibroids are the most common cause of hysterectomy in the country. Learn more about Inova's options for minimally invasive hysterectomy

Research on fibroids treatment

Inova is seeking women to participate in a research study to better understand treatment options for uterine fibroids. The national study is called Comparing Options for Management: Patient Centered Results for Uterine Fibroids, or COMPARE-UF. Inova is one of only 9 sites in the country participating. The study is led by Duke University.

If you're interested in participating in this study, watch the video below and learn more here PDF icon from our fact sheet. Please call 703-776-7888 to see if you are eligible.

Learn more about participating with Inova in this fibroids research study.


Learn more about fibroids in general

View educational videos featuring Inova doctors and patients.


Webinar: Arina Van Breda, MD: Non-Surgical Treatment for Uterine Fibroids.