Fibroid puzzles, UFE procedure experience and pros/cons (long read)

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Hi all. I decided to share my fibroids and UFE experience, maybe it will help someone. It was a long and confusing road getting here (about 5 years). No one even tells you about UFE as an option or downplay it's effectiveness, that's the darnest thing. I did my own research and none of the three most recent gynos refer me to the doctors that do it. Had to find them myself and schedule a consult. Multiple fibroids, three large ones and an array of smaller buggers (probably around 10 total). Bleeding was insane with the host of all other symptoms. I was put back on birth control at the age of 44, and I still had absolutely ridiculous bleeds. I became anemic.

Why I chose UFE.

Scared of surgeries. I chose it because i didnt want to have my uterus cut up all over the place due to multiple fibroids (open myomectomy was the operation of choice for me). Risk of a heavy bleed during the surgery in which case they will perform a hysterectomy. And I didnt not want to have a scar and have to recover for several weeks. Words of advice: ask what medicines they are using as their IV protocol, i didnt expect almost 20 of them. I don't even think more than 2/3 was needed. Another place i was going to do it at only mentioned like 3 medicines, not sure how accurate it was. Also check with insurance prior to going in to see if all is good. I had this procedure fall through due to incompetence of those requesting authorization.

The good.

I cannot yet speak subjectively to the effectiveness of it since it's only been 5 days. For those considering it: it seems to be a better option for women with multiple fibroids, if you want less of a recovery time and patient enough to see results (it can take up to a year or so, but it;s been said an improvement should be seen at a 3 month's mark).

The actual procedure itself in my case was about 5 minutes, I am not kidding.

I was released about an hour after and you need someone to pick you up due to drowsiness.

So far I have almost no symptoms, lights spotting and light cramping.

I didnt not actually use the drugs they gave me to take with. Periodic ibuprofen or tylon was it for me. I guess, I am lucky.

The menopause risk is there but low, even at my age.

The success rate is high and the recurrence rate is low.

The not so good (not calling it bad for a reason of this being an lesser evil for me).

They went through the arm. The actual 5 minute procedure was not painless, by a long shot. I dont know if that area was numbed or not a i was under the twilight sedation. It hurt a lot. But... short lived.

Arm is sore afterwards, you wear a brace to protect for 24 hours, i wore it for 2. YOu cannot use this arm much a few days, and it's said to not keep it hanging down. I guess better an arm then a leg, it would be harder to sleep with e sore leg.

The IV from hell made me feel like i did some heavy drugs (which, was true).Those were super heavy drugs. The nurse kept announcing every single thing she was putting in an iv. Like i had a choice to not take it? Then she said it was extremely painful. To which i said that's not what I was told. Mind you my first time in a hospital as a patient, ever. Crappy bedside manner. Oh, well.

I did get constipated (due the narcotics). Taking a laxative was not fun, cramps from that. But whatever.

The cherry on top: i got a really bad cold the day of the surgery. when i got home. I suspect I was getting sick but the steroids put me over the edge. It's not the first time steroids escalate a cold for me. It's still pretty bad. But it may only partially be related to the procedure.

Hope that it works for me long term, and it shrinks them to the point where i don't have symptoms or minor ones, and i can get off the stupid pill. I know this was long. Sorry. 😃

0 likes, 2 replies

2 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi @Leay,

    How are you feeling now? Any update on your recovery? Im waiting for my UFE appointment, but still not sure if this is the best option.

    How long did the extreme pain last? 5 minutes?

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Posted

    Hi @Leay,

    How are you feeling now? Any update on your recovery? Im waiting for my UFE appointment, but still not sure if this is the best option.

    How long did the extreme pain last? 5 minutes?

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

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