infection after UFE

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi everyone, just to add my own experience of UFE. I had the procedure done on 7th February. The procedure itself was quick and painless, however I did develop severe cramps at the end of it. I was given Fentanyl, but due to an adverse reaction, this was replaced with oxycodone. There was more pain later that evening but it was dealt with using my oxycodone pump. The next morning I was feeling well and ready to go home. I thought I'd be up in a week and felt lucky to have chosen UFE over other alternatives such as myomectomy or hysterectomy.

Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. I developed fever (over 38C) which would just not go away. I'm aware that low-grade fever often occurs after embolisation but this was getting higher and higher. I called the hospital and they said if it goes down with paracetamol, then there is no reason for concern but if it doesn't, come back to us. I spoke to my GP who asked me to get over there to be checked over but I felt too weak to do that. Eventually, after a night of high fever that would not come down, I called an ambulance and was taken to A&E.

The gynaecology team saw me very quickly on arrival. They took blood cultures and did vaginal swabs. They thought I had a infection and put me on fluids and IV anitbiotics.

The pain that night was something I'll never forget. The tiniest movement made my pain shoot up to 10. I was groaning and moaning like I'd never before in my life. I was offered oromorph to deal with the pain but because of my earlier adverse reaction to Fentanyl I was reluctant to take it. My thoughts were I can't believe I'll be able to avoid hysterectomy this time, and to be totally honest I was so scared of sepsis I'd rather have my womb removed.

Eventually, I didn't have a hysterectomy but my seven days in hospital were hellish. Each dose of IV anitbiotics was followed by a burning sensation all over my body which felt like fever but wasn't. I also had diarrhoea and was frequently sick.

A week later the doctors told me the infection was in check and that I was well enough to go home on oral antibiotics. I didn't feel well enough but didn't argue. So I've been recovering at home since. I still have fever (around 38-38.5 C) and feel weak. I'm hoping I'll get better eventually, but it does take an awful lot of time. Doctors at the hospital told me to be on my guard over the next few weeks about discharge/fever because that could mean the infection is back.

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  • Posted

    Wow! I think you have lived through everyone's worst fears. (Severe complications following surgery). You are very fortunate they didnt perform a hysterectomy. I hope you are feeling better and things continue to go well.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

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    • Posted

      Thank you shelly for replying. I'm indeed lucky to have avoided hysterectomy, and I am feeling a bit better today (temperature consistently below 38). Keeping my fingers crossed there's no setback!

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    • Posted

      I have. My fibroid is embedded in the muscle of my uterus. So surgical removal isnt an option. I also have endometriosis and my cervix isnt regerating itself so between those 3 conditions i bleed pretty much all the time. Plus as the years go on, the little pains have become bigger and harder to deal with. My gyn has been excellent. No complaints there, but its time to remove everything and hopefully have a better quality of life. It was likely time a few years ago. Lol.
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    • Posted

      I don't know very much about endometriosis or the other condition you describe, but my fibroid was also embedded in the uterine wall and I was told I could have either ufe or myomectomy. Went for ufe because of the shorter recovery time. I totally understand what you say about a better quality of life! My fibroids gave me pain and discomfort almost throughout the month, and I should have made a choice on a procedure at least a year ago. I guess I found it difficult ro navigate the various options, and it was only when I'd spoken to women who had actually undergone myomectomy or ufe that I was able to say that's it, I'm gonna go for it.

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    • Posted

      Hi Heather, yes, diagnosis was sepsis. Likely cause was the big size of my fibroid (they had warmed me about this at the pre-op). The lab was able to identify the bug and later cultures showed it was killed by the antibiotics

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    • Posted

      I'm so sorry you have had to go through this Jess. Did the fibroid die? I had heard that the larger the fibroid the greater the risk of sepsis but I wasn't sure if that was fact. How large was your fibroid where was it? Was it intramural?

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    • Posted

      Hi Heather, yes, the big fibroid is intramural and it is 10cm big. Actually it has not started shrinking yet. I had an ultrasound scan while at hospital which showed that there is no blood flow to the area (so the ufe was technically a success) but that the fibroid is still 10cm. That said, my tummy has shrunk back a little and is now softer than it used to be. Doctors say that the shrinking of the fibroid will happen gradually over the next six months, so it's still early days.

      I was also told that the bigger the fibroid the greater the risk of infection, and I guess I'm the living proof of this...

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    • Posted

      Its hard to make the final decision Shelly. Do they class yours as intramural (in the uterous wall then) What location is it, how big? Awful bleeding all the time. There is definitely a relief in thinking it'll be gone once & for all. It's just getting past the decision & staying positive.

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    • Posted

      It worries me that larger ones are more likely to infect / get sepsis with UFE but I suppose its logical that there is more tissue to degrade, but I didn't realise it started to degrade & cause infection quite so quickly but I suppose if its killed off as soon as they embolise then it could start straight away. I'm so sorry for you with the extra pain you have had to endure when you have been through enough having the 10cm fibroid. I hope they have it all killed off & infection gone so you can recover fully. Keep me up to date with how you are doing. Best Wishes x

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    • Posted

      Actually, the final decision was easy. I have been strugglung for years trying to keep ahead of things and stay healthy. Once the gynaecologist and i talked and we realized there wasn't anything more he could do, it was a bit of a relief to make the final call. The hard part was thinking i was in control, and learning i wasn't. Lol. I had my mind all set that i could keep my ovaries and this would be fine and when he called and said we couldnt, i was upset. Not being able to keep in front of it was harder than the actual decision. I got the call yesterday. April 3 is my surgery. 😳

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    • Posted

      Hi Shelly, I also wish you all the best with your procedure in April. When you've been through so much with the pain and discomfort, you really deserve to get your life back. I hope everything goes well and recovery is swift for you!

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    • Posted

      Oh yes, definitely. My fibroids caused me to be in pain almost the whole month and sapped my energy. I said to myself I'm not gonna let this stop me from activities but the truth is it did. I hope I can get my life back eventually!

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