Treatment for Uterine Fibroids in Corpus Christi & South Texas | UFE Treatment
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As many as 70% of women will develop noncancerous tumors in the uterus known as fibroids during their reproductive years. Often these growths will cause no symptoms, but when they do they can include heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged periods, and pelvic pain.

If you’re suffering from symptomatic fibroids, VasCare can treat them with a minimally invasive outpatient procedure known as UFE. Performed by our resident fibroid specialist Dr. Lee, UFE is an alternative to a hysterectomy or myomectomy and keeps your uterus intact.

With our state-of-the-art facilities and radial access technique for faster recovery, we are the only outpatient UFE practitioners in Corpus Christi.

Do You Have The Symptoms of Fibroids?

Pelvic Pain

Chronic uterine pain, even if it’s not severe, could be a sign of uterine fibroids. In addition to pain, you may experience it as feeling bloated or having lower back pain.

Heavy Periods

Abnormally heavy or long periods are one of the leading symptoms of uterine fibroids. Are you soaking through more than one pad or tampon every hour?

Painful Sex

Uterine fibroids can be the cause of painful intercourse. Pain can be around the entrance of the vagina or deeper inside depending on the location of the fibroids.

Check the warning signs: See more fibroids symptoms

What Are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that occur in the uterus and are typically not dangerous, but the symptoms can be severe. By age 35, between 40% and 60% of women will experience uterine fibroids. A family history of Uterine Fibroids can also make it more likely.

Minimally Invasive Treatments

Uterine Fibroid Embolizaions

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment for uterine fibroids, or small tumors that occur in the muscular wall of the uterus that can result in heavy or irregular periods, pelvic pain and cramping, painful sex or other symptoms.

UFE has a high success rate, does not require anesthesia and can be performed safely in an outpatient setting. Patient recovery for UFE is shorter and less risky than surgery. Using x-ray guidance, a small catheter is used to inject small particles into the arteries to cut off blood flow and cause the fibroids to shrink.

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Advanced In-office Treatments

Advantages Of Ufe

  • Procedures have proven to be highly effective
  • Shorter recovery time than conventional surgery
  • Minimized complication risk
  • Unlikely to cause menopause
  • Most insurance companies cover UFE
  • No need for surgery or organ removal; only a small access site is required

UFE – Non-Surgical Approach to Treating Fibroids

Short for Uterine Fibroid Embolization, UFE is a minimally invasive procedure that does not damage your uterus. UFE works by blocking the blood flow (embolization) to the fibroids, which cuts off their oxygen and nutrients and forces them to shrink.

Three fibroids treatments compared: UFE vs Myomectomy vs Hysterectomy

In the procedure, the radiologist uses x-ray assistance to guide a thin catheter into the artery through a tiny incision. Once the embolizing agents are released, they float downstream to the area of the fibroids and block the small blood vessels that are feeding them.


If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids, you may believe hysterectomy is your only treatment option. But that’s not true. At VasCare, we’re treating fibroids with a safe, minimally invasive, outpatient procedure known as UFE. UFE shrinks fibroids and eases symptoms without harming your uterus. Our team is led by Dr. Llewellyn Lee, a vascular and interventional radiologist with over 20 years of UFE experience. Call or visit us today to arrange a consultation.

In the procedure, the radiologist uses x-ray assistance to guide a thin catheter into the artery through a tiny incision. Once the embolizing agents are released, they float downstream to the area of the fibroids and block the small blood vessels that are feeding them.

UFE is also an indicated treatment for adenomyosis—when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) grows into the muscular walls of the uterus (myometrium). This abnormal tissue leads to heavy menstrual bleeding during each menstrual cycle. When treating adenomyosis, UFE blocks blood flow to the abnormal tissue, causing it to shrink and die.

Prep, pre-procedure, treatment, and post-procedure: What Happens in a UFE Procedure

Am I a Candidate for UFE?

Except for those who are currently pregnant, UFE is a good fit for most women with fibroids. However, the best way to learn if you’re a candidate for UFE is to schedule a consultation with us.

If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, use our 6-question self-assessment tool to find out if you might be a good candidate for UFE.

VasCare Is the Only Outpatient UFE Provider in the Coastal Bend

VasCare’s Dr. Lewellyn Lee featured on the Coastal Living lifestyle show on KZTV Action 10 discussing fibroids, UFE, and UFE candidacy.

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The Benefits of UFE

  • Minimally invasive
  • Safe
  • Outpatient
  • Short downtime
  • Less scarring

What to Expect at Your Consultation

At your initial appointment, the doctor will…

  • Discuss your history and symptoms with you
  • Review imaging
  • Likely order an MRI to ensure there are no other problems and to aid in developing a treatment plan

We encourage patients to bring a spouse or other loved one to join the consultation. We do not do invasive gynecological exams.

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Dr. Lee at VasCare – Interventional Radiologist and Leader in Treating Fibroids

As a fibroid clinic, VasCare is proud to have one of the foremost women’s health experts in the country at the helm in Dr. Llewellyn Lee, our Chief Medical Officer and Director of Interventional Radiology. Dr. Lee has over 20 years of experience as an interventional radiologist and has successfully treated thousands of fibroid patients with no major complications.

A nationally recognized leader in UFE, Dr. Lee has helped develop devices used in embolization and has even personally trained other physicians in the procedure.

Dr. Lee - Vascular Specialist

FAQs About Fibroids – Causes, Symptoms & More

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are benign (not cancer) growths that develop from the muscle tissue of the uterus. They also are called leiomyomas or myomas. The size, shape, and location of fibroids can vary greatly. They may be inside the uterus, on its outer surface or within its wall, or attached to it by a stem-like structure. A woman may have only one fibroid or many of varying sizes. A fibroid may remain very small for a long time and suddenly grow rapidly, or grow slowly over a number of years.

Learn more: What are uterine fibroids?

Who is most likely to have fibroids?

Fibroids are most common in women aged 30–40 years, but they can occur at any age. Fibroids occur more often in African American women than in white women. They also seem to occur at a younger age and grow more quickly in African American women.

What are the symptoms of fibroids?

Fibroids may have the following symptoms:

  • Changes in menstruation
    • Longer, more frequent, or heavy menstrual periods
    • Menstrual pain (cramps)
    • Vaginal bleeding at times other than menstruation
    • Anemia (from blood loss)
  • Pain
    • In the abdomen or lower back (often dull, heavy and aching, but may be sharp)
    • During sex
  • Pressure
    • Difficulty urinating or frequent urination
    • Constipation, rectal pain, or difficult bowel movements
    • Abdominal cramps
  • Enlarged uterus and abdomen
  • Miscarriages
  • Infertility

Fibroids also may cause no symptoms at all. Fibroids may be found during a routine pelvic exam or during tests for other problems.

Do I need to treat fibroids?

In many instances of fibroids, no treatment is necessary and the fibroids will shrink after menopause. However, if they’re causing you pain or other problems, you should seek treatment.

How are fibroids diagnosed?

Pelvic exams often reveal the presence of fibroids, which are then confirmed with ultrasound or MRI. Special tests such as a hysteroscopy or hysterosonogram may also be used to identify fibroids if painful symptoms or infertility can’t be explained by typical methods.

  • Ultrasonography uses sound waves to create a picture of the uterus and other pelvic organs.
  • Hysteroscopy uses a slender device (the hysteroscope) to see the inside of the uterus. It is inserted through the vagina and cervix (opening of the uterus). This lets your health care professional see fibroids inside the uterine cavity.
  • Hysterosalpingography is a special X-ray test. It may detect abnormal changes in the size and shape of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
  • Sonohysterography is a test in which fluid is put into the uterus through the cervix. Ultrasonography is then used to show the inside of the uterus. The fluid provides a clear picture of the uterine lining.
  • Laparoscopy uses a slender device (the laparoscope) to help your health care professional see the inside of the abdomen. It is inserted through a small cut just below or through the navel. Fibroids on the outside of the uterus can be seen with the laparoscope.
Are fibroids a type of cancer?

No, fibroids are benign tumors. In only roughly 1 out of 1,000 patients will they become cancerous.

Can postmenopausal women get fibroids?

In rare cases, women can develop fibroids after experiencing menopause. It’s not yet understood why this happens, although links to hormone replacement therapy and obesity have been noted. Nevertheless, the symptoms of postmenopausal fibroids will be much milder or even non-existent compared to fibroids developed prior to menopause.

Is UFE a viable treatment for postmenopausal women with fibroids?

UFE may be appropriate in certain cases of symptomatic uterine fibroids after menopause.

What complications can occur with fibroids?

Fibroids that are attached to the uterus by a stem may twist and can cause pain, nausea, or fever. Fibroids that grow rapidly, or those that start breaking down, also may cause pain. Rarely, they can be associated with cancer. A very large fibroid may cause swelling of the abdomen. This swelling can make it hard to do a thorough pelvic exam.

Fibroids also may cause infertility, although other causes are more common. Other factors should be explored before fibroids are considered the cause of a couple’s infertility. When fibroids are thought to be a cause, many women are able to become pregnant after they are treated.

What causes fibroids?

Although the exact causes aren’t known, risk factors for fibroids include:

  • a family history of fibroids
  • vitamin D deficiency
  • being in childbearing years but not having children
  • early onset of menstruation
  • late onset of menopause
When is treatment necessary for fibroids?

Fibroids that do not cause symptoms, are small, or occur in a woman who is nearing menopause often do not require treatment. Certain signs and symptoms may signal the need for treatment

  • Heavy or painful menstrual periods that cause anemia or that disrupt a woman’s normal activities
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Uncertainty whether the growth is a fibroid or another type of tumor, such as an ovarian tumor
  • Rapid increase in growth of the fibroid
  • Infertility
  • Pelvic pain
Can medication be used to treat fibroids?

Drug therapy is an option for some women with fibroids. Medications may reduce the heavy bleeding and painful periods that fibroids sometimes cause. They may not prevent the growth of fibroids. Surgery often is needed later. Drug treatment for fibroids includes the following options:

  • Birth control pills and other types of hormonal birth control methods—These drugs often are used to control heavy bleeding and painful periods.
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists—These drugs stop the menstrual cycle and can shrink fibroids. They sometimes are used before surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding. Because GnRH agonists have many side effects, they are used only for short periods (less than 6 months). After a woman stops taking a GnRH agonist, her fibroids usually return to their previous size.
  • Progestin–releasing intrauterine device (IUD)—This option is for women with fibroids that do not distort the inside of the uterus. It reduces heavy and painful bleeding but does not treat the fibroids themselves.
What types of surgery may be done to treat fibroids?

Myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids while leaving the uterus in place. Because a woman keeps her uterus, she may still be able to have children. Fibroids do not regrow after surgery, but new fibroids may develop. If they do, more surgery may be needed. Hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus. The ovaries may or may not be removed. Hysterectomy is done when other treatments have not worked or are not possible or the fibroids are very large. A woman is no longer able to have children after having a hysterectomy.

Are there other treatments besides medication and surgery?
  • Other treatment options are as follows:
    Hysteroscopy—This technique is used to remove fibroids that protrude into the cavity of the uterus. A resectoscopeis inserted through the hysteroscope. The resectoscope destroys fibroids with electricity or a laser beam. Although it cannot remove fibroids deep in the walls of the uterus, it often can control the bleeding these fibroids cause. Hysteroscopy often can be performed as an outpatient procedure (you do not have to stay overnight in the hospital).
  • Uterine artery embolization (UAE)—In this procedure, tiny particles (about the size of grains of sand) are injected into the blood vessels that lead to the uterus. The particles cut off the blood flow to the fibroid and cause it to shrink. UAE can be performed as an outpatient procedure in most cases.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging-guided ultrasound surgery—In this new approach, ultrasound waves are used to destroy fibroids. The waves are directed at the fibroids through the skin with the help of magnetic resonance imaging. Whether this approach provides long-term relief is currently being studied.

Anemia: Abnormally low levels of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Most cases are caused by iron deficiency (lack of iron).
Hysterectomy: Surgery to remove the uterus.
Hysterosalpingography: A special X-ray procedure in which a small amount of fluid is placed in the uterus and fallopian tubes to find abnormal changes or see if the tubes are blocked.
Hysteroscopy: A procedure in which a lighted telescope is inserted into the uterus through the cervix to view the inside of the uterus or perform surgery.
Intrauterine Device (IUD): A small device that is inserted and left inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
Laparoscopy: A surgical procedure in which a thin, lighted telescope called a laparoscope is inserted through a small incision (cut) in the abdomen. The laparoscope is used to view the pelvic organs. Other instruments can be used with it to perform surgery.
Menstruation: The monthly shedding of blood and tissue from the uterus that happens when a woman is not pregnant.
Menopause: The time when a woman’s menstrual periods stop permanently. Menopause is confirmed after 1 year of no periods.
Pelvic Exam: A physical examination of a woman’s pelvic organs.
Progestin: A synthetic form of progesterone that is similar to the hormone made naturally by the body.
Resectoscope: A slender telescope with an electrical wire loop or roller-ball tip used to remove or destroy tissue.
Sonohysterography: A procedure in which sterile fluid is injected into the uterus through the cervix while ultrasound images are taken of the inside of the uterus.
Ultrasonography: A test in which sound waves are used to examine inner parts of the body. During pregnancy, ultrasonography can be used to check the fetus.
Uterus: A muscular organ in the female pelvis. During pregnancy this organ holds and nourishes the fetus.

Get Relief from Fibroids Symptoms with a Minimally Invasive Procedure

Schedule a consultation with our specialists at VasCare to discuss your treatment options.