Live Free from the Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids 

Imagine living a life free from the shackles of your fibroid symptoms. No more having to adjust your wardrobe around your symptoms, no more looking for the quickest way to get to the restroom whenever going somewhere new,  and no more pain in your pelvis, back, and legs. Uterine Fibroid Embolization can help you live your life again.  

This procedure is minimally invasive and an alternative to a hysterectomy. We use a targeted treatment approach by shrinking fibroids to manageable sizes which in turn can eliminate your symptoms.

Live Free from the Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids 

Imagine living a life free from the shackles of your fibroid symptoms. No more having to adjust your wardrobe around your symptoms, no more looking for the quickest way to get to the restroom whenever going somewhere new, as well as living free from pain. Uterine Fibroid Embolization can help you live your life again.  

This procedure is minimally invasive and an alternative to a hysterectomy. We use a targeted treatment approach by shrinking fibroids to manageable sizes which in turn can eliminate your symptoms.

How We Treat Your Uterine Fibroid 

Fibroids are a non-cancerous tumor located on the walls of the uterus, forming on the smooth muscle.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization, also called UFE, is an outpatient procedure done by a specially trained Interventional Radiologist to manage the symptoms caused by Fibroids.  The treatment goal is to cut off the supply of blood flow to the fibroids, essentially starving them. Over time your fibroids will shrink and alleviate the pressure they put on your uterus and surrounding organs. Most patients report a substantial increase in their quality of life. The best part is, this is a minimally invasive procedure. Unlike an invasive hysterectomy, we will put less stress on your body, you will recover more quickly, and you will keep your uterus. 

Key Advantages

UFE is a safe treatment option and like other minimally invasive procedures has significant advantages over conventional open surgery. That’s why 90% of all women were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” at final follow-up after UFE.

  • Preservation of the uterus
  • Decrease in heavy menstrual bleeding from symptomatic fibroids 
  • Decrease in urinary dysfunction
  • Decrease in pelvic pain and/or pressure 
  • Virtually no blood loss
  • Typically performed as an outpatient procedure 
  • Offers a shorter clinic stay and a faster return to work when compared to having a hysterectomy
  • Safe procedure that involves minimal risk and fewer complications after 30 days when compared to having a hysterectomy
  • Overall, significant improvement in patient’s physical and emotional well-being 
  • Covered by most insurance companies 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this procedure covered by insurance? 
Most insurances cover this procedure.

Who is at risk?  
Since uterine fibroids are the most common tumors within the female reproductive system, all women are at a potential risk of developing them. The majority of uterine fibroids are diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 54. However, fibroids can occur in women younger than 35.

Are most patients eligible? 
Yes. If you are exhibiting symptoms and your MRI or Ultrasound is showing fibroids, it is very likely that you are a candidate.

When can I return to work? 
1 week.

Do I need to be referred by my primary care doctor or OB/GYN?
No referral is needed. You can call our office and schedule your consultation with one of our Interventional Radiologists.

What happens the day of the procedure?
You will come in early in the morning and register. An IV will be started on your right arm as the left is always used for wrist access for this procedure.  
You will lay on the procedure table and our skilled nurses will give you IV sedation to relax you and make you comfortable.  Odds are you will not feel or remember a thing during the procedure.  

IV dye is used. If you have an allergy to iodine or IV dye or poor renal function, let us know during the consultation. This usually does not preclude the procedure, and we make a few minor adjustments. You may need to take steroids the night before and/or get extra IV fluids after.  

The procedure itself takes on average 30 minutes with a total x-ray time of 4-10 minutes (well below the national average).

What happens after the procedure?
You will awaken from your twilight sedation, pain medications will already be on-board. Afterwards you will rest in recovery for 2-4 hours, then go home.  It is rare now with our protocol that you would need to spend the night.   

You will feel cramping and discomfort for 24-48 hours.  Some women tolerate it very well while others have more severe symptoms. We will manage this as best as medications allow.

Is recurrence of fibroids and symptoms possible?
This is extremely rare. Unlike myomectomy that cherry-picks out certain fibroids, UFE when done properly kills every single fibroid, big and small, even those not detectable on imaging.

 

Meet your Interventional Radiologist

Dr. Joseph A. Couvillon

Dr. Joseph Couvillon (Dr. Joe or Dr. C) is a medical doctor that is board-certified in diagnostic radiology with an advanced degree (CAQ – certificate of advanced qualification) in vascular and interventional radiology.  He finished his training with fellowship at the prestigious Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute (MCVI), which is widely regarded as the top IR fellowship program in the country.

Dr. Couvillon attended Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he was class president.  He completed his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University majoring in English literature.

After medical school, he completed a surgical internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC. He then completed his radiology residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, one of the largest and most well-regarded radiology programs, where he was among the top of his class.

He is an expert at treating cancer, performing the entire gamut of interventional oncology.  He has a special interest in uterine fibroid embolization (via radial artery approach), one of his favorite procedures.  He also treats and manages peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in addition to all other IR procedures.

He is an avid athlete that has run marathons and Ironman triathlons.  He is a skilled carpenter by hobby.  Before medicine, he was a commercial salmon fisherman in Petersburg, Alaska.  He is an avid lover of travelling that has run with the bulls in Pamplona, tracked mountain gorillas within the impenetrable forest of Bwindi in Uganda, and has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro (during a blizzard). He is fluent in Spanish. He loves dogs.

Education:
BA, Georgetown University
MD, Georgetown University School of Medicine

Internship:
Surgery – St Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center; NY, NY

Residency:
Radiology – University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Pittsburgh, PA

Fellowship:
Vascular and Interventional Radiology – Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute; Miami, FL

Board Certifications:
Diagnostic Radiology
Vascular and Interventional Radiology

Member – Society of interventional Radiology (SIR)

What Our Patients Have to Say…

I can not say enough about DR. COUVILLON and his staff. A big Thank You to Dr. Couvillon and staff for treating me so well. 5 stars is not enough, let’s say 8 *s.

Patient - 2/24/2018

Exceptional and pain-free bone marrow biopsy. Exceptional staff.

Patient - 4/19/2018

Amber Manzie exceptional understanding so pleasant. Happy Patient. The best Keep her. Give her a raise! And Megan Lee- patient, Helpful, kind, happy. And Dr Jared- great. Explained the results, patient.

Patient- 5/17/2019

Quick Links

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT
DIRECTIONS
How Was Your Visit?