UFE vs Hysterectomy: How does UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolisation) compare with Hysterectomy?


When it comes to treating uterine fibroids, two popular options are Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) and hysterectomy. This article compares these procedures to help you make an informed decision about your fibroid treatment.

Nature of the procedure:

UFE is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks blood flow to fibroids, causing them to shrink and die. It’s performed under local anaesthesia with light sedation. Hysterectomy, on the other hand, is a major surgical procedure that removes the entire uterus, performed under general anaesthesia.


Both procedures are effective in treating fibroid symptoms. UFE has been shown to be comparable to hysterectomy in terms of symptom relief and improving quality of life. Fibroid recurrence (growing back) is very rare following UFE, but common after myomectomy (surgical removal of fibroids).

Patient satisfaction:

Studies have shown high satisfaction rates for both procedures. UFE patients often appreciate the uterus-preserving nature of the treatment, its lower risk, and quicker recovery.


UFE typically has a shorter recovery time, requiring only one night stay in hospital, and most women returning to normal activities in about a week. Hysterectomy recovery can take 4-8 weeks, depending on the type of surgery and size of uterus / fibroids.


UFE is generally less expensive than hysterectomy, though costs can vary depending on insurance coverage and specific circumstances.

Risks and complications:

UFE has lower risks of major complications compared to hysterectomy. Risks for UFE include bruise in the groin, bladder infection, injuries to the arteries, allergic reactions to contrast dye.

Hysterectomy risks include bleeding, injury to nearby organs, blood clots, and early menopause.

Long-term side effects:

Some fibroids near the cavity might give sloughing issues like vaginal discharge and passage of fibroid tissue; larger fibroid tissue might need to be removed by a curette procedure.

Hysterectomy might increase the risk of prolapse, incontinence, sexual dysfunction, earlier menopause and increase coronary disease risk.

More about Hysterectomy Risks and Long Term Side effects:

Why should women try to avoid hysterectomies? Risks and Side Effects


Choosing Between UFE and Hysterectomy for Fibroid Treatment


When deciding between UFE and hysterectomy for fibroid treatment, consider factors such as:

  1. Desire for future fertility
  2. Severity of fibroid symptoms
  3. Overall health and surgical risks
  4. Recovery time preferences
  5. Long-term health implications


Consult with a fibroid specialist to determine the best treatment option for your specific case.


Both UFE and hysterectomy offer effective treatments for uterine fibroids. UFE provides a less invasive option with quicker recovery and uterus preservation, while hysterectomy offers a permanent solution but with longer recovery and potential long-term effects. Understanding the differences between these procedures can help you make the best choice for your fibroid treatment.


How does UFE work:

Shrinking Fibroids to avoid Hysterectomy – How does UFE work?




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