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How does UFE work?

Dr Eisen Liang - Monday, July 30, 2018

How does UFE work?

During UFE, small particles are injected to the uterine arteries. As the plastic particles restrict blood supply to the fibroids, these benign tumours shrivel and die as it is starved with lack of oxygen and nutrients.

Normal uterine tissue (myometrium) has an immense capacity to recruit dormant blood vessels to re-nourish itself. As a result, it will survive and remain largely unharmed.

However, the fibroids do not have the capacity to recruit new blood vessels so these benign tumours die and shrink, eventually becoming scar-like tissues.

UFE utilizes the difference in the arrangement of blood supply between fibroids and normal uterine wall tissue (myometrium).

Normal uterus is quite small, only 60-100 mls in size. During pregnancy, the uterus enlarges enormously, and carries with it 40 times in blood flow.  Uterine blood vessels have to increase in size, length and numbers during pregnancy. When the uterus is not pregnant, these blood vessels shrivel up and are mostly shut down.

When particles block some of the uterine artery branches supplying the normal uterine tissue, the dormant branches will soon open up to keep the normal part of the uterus alive. However, fibroids do not have the capacity to recruit new blood vessels. That is why once the fibroid arteries are blocked, the fibroid will shrink and die. The fibroid becomes a scar-like tissue, no longer active or viable.

Expert Explains Why Plastic Particles are Safe for UFE

Dr Eisen Liang - Sunday, July 01, 2018

Expert Explains Why Plastic Particles are Safe for UFE

The particles we use are made of PVA (polyvinyl alcohol). PVA has been used safely in many medical prostheses for more than 3 decades.

It is the additives in the plastic when making utensils like water bottles and food containers that are potentially harmful. Pure plastics are chemically and biochemically inert, meaning they will not react with the body.

PVA particles are wrapped up by scar-like tissue, remain in place permanently and will not migrate elsewhere.