UFE scheduled in 2 1/2 weeks - looking for advice and suggestions to get me through recovery!

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Hello all -

I was diagnosed with a single, posterior fundal fibroid about 7 years ago when I was 34. At the time it was about 5.5 cm, and I wasn't much in the way of symptoms so my doctor at the time suggested watchful waiting. For the first few years since its discovery, the size stayed pretty stable, so I was hopeful that I could wait it out to menopause. However, as I entered my 40's it started to grow, and is now about 7.6 cm. During that time I started to experience heavy periods - especially the first two days - I can't go anywhere where I won't have unhindered bathroom access. I became anemic and I basically feel tired all the time. Iron supplements helped a little, but I still feel generally fatigued. I also have some bulk symptoms... I feel some pain and pressure in the upper right area of my abdomen (which is where the fibroid is pushing). I also have experienced increased urinary frequency. I am a classical singer, and noticed that my breath control and support was feeling weird as well, and I can't sing long passages as easily as I used to.

After much thought and mental back and fourth, I went through the work up to be considered for UFE. I would really like to keep my uterus, so hysterectomy will only be considered as a last resort. I had an endometrial biopsy which came back normal, and an MRI. Luckily, I only have one single fibroid, but it is pretty big. My IR said it looks like it is within the uterine wall, though it does distort my endometrium, which is most likely causing my heavy bleeding.

I am scheduled for my procedure on September 11. I'm glad to be doing something about this stupid fibroid, but very very nervous. I have never had any kind of procedure or surgery, so everything about this is new and scary.

I am looking for suggestions to prepare myself mental and physically. Anything I should stock up on to have in the house when I get back? My husband will be with me at the hospital and will be my primary "nurse" and caretaker when I get home.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Don't panic. UTE is a straight forward procedure. No need to stock up on anything. I don't know what country you are located in but I live in the UK and had my procedure done on a NHS hospital. This is the information I was given and it is very factual

    http://www.uhs.nhs.uk/OurServices/Radiology-scansandimaging/PatientInformation/FibroidEmbolisation.aspx

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  • Posted

    Dont panic sis, is a very straightforward procedure just done mine last week Wednesday and only spent the night just for pain management. yes the pain afterwards is relative depending on your tolerance level....but for me it was just ok after taking the pain medication it wasn't as bad as some ladies experienced it . on my third day i was fine just a little cramping here and there like period and ibruprofen was enough for me. the only thing i experienced a bit, was constipation which the doctor gave me laxative to ease. for now i am still at home cos i took 2 weeks off just to rest. am happy i went for the UFE procedure i can feel much better. and yes a lil discharge is expected mine stopped on the 5th day but still get a lil stain on my pantyliner thats normal as well...so far so good.

    and yes it was done through my groin not my wrist because it wasn't suitable for me. so i had to lie still for 4 hours before getting up to go use the loo. you will be fine dont worry too much

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    • Posted

      This puts me at ease. I'm really not sure where my pain tolerance lies in the grand scheme of things, but I will say that though I had been told an endometrial biopsy would be very painful, I thought it was no big deal... not that I'd want to have one everyday, but it wasn't nearly as bad as everyone seemed to make it sound. I have never given birth, so when people compare the pain to labor, that is terrifying to me. My doctor assured me they'd give me everything I need to get through the worst of it. As it stands, this is an out patient procedure and unless I am really struggling with pain, I will be sent home in the evening. I'm hoping the pain is such that I can go home and recover there. A night in the hospital is not particularly appealing, but if necessary, I'll do it. I also scheduled two weeks off from work to be on the safe side. I feel it's best to take the time to take care of yourself if you have the opportunity to do so. I'm lucky that I can.

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  • Posted

    Don't worry. i had a relatively big fiberiod that also affected my endrometial canal. my bleeding was extremely heavy. i became very anemic and towards my surgery i had two transfusions.

    i had a myomectomy 3 weeks ago. They removed total of 7 fiberiods weighing 300 grams.

    The first three days were very tough, but i improved tremendously by the 9th day.

    Now i walk a lot and eat well. I drink a lot of water and take my supplements. I am no longer anemic.

    You can do this!

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  • Posted

    Hi Singing,

    Your situation sounded very similar to mine, but I had 4 fibroids with the largest being 13 cm. This was my very first time that I had anesthesia and I was scared, but all went pretty well. I had UFE 2 years ago, and the fibroids have all shrunk as the radiologist claimed. For the first time in a long while, I am not anemic, but still supplement my iron in case my intake is not enough. Tiredness has lessened, and most importantly the bleeding is light for me the entire menstrual cycle, so now I can live life. Exercising is a new norm (one fibroid appeared to be pushing out of my stomach prior to the procedure).

    My advice is that you have Ibuprofen, liners, and take 15-20 minute walks to help lessen the cramping that you may feel (plus it takes your mind off of the discomfort - hubby can walk with you). Do not worry about needing to stay still for 4-6 hours because a portion of that time is most likely spent sleeping. I did not have this issue because I did not take any prescription drugs, but eat fiber or take fiber supplement to help with the constipation you may get. I used guided meditation prior to and after the procedure, which I believe helped lessen pain. Of course, music is my passion, so that was my go to by day 2. Having a positive attitude helps, too. 😃 For me, I had the procedure on a Monday and felt better by Day 5. I still took Ibuprofen for another couple of days only when needed (bedtime). I wanted to get back to exercising, but had to wait for 4 weeks after seeing my doctor.

    Good luck with the procedure and post procedure!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Cindy! I have actually started using a guided mediation and I think it has already helped tremendously with my pre-procedure anxiety. I am hopeful it will help my post-procedure pain and recovery. Ideally, I would like to use the prescription drugs as little as possible because I don't tolerate them particularly well. I am also going to make sure I have ginger tea and a heating pad on hand.

      I am so excited to not be so tired all the time, and I'm hopeful that my bleeding will lessen enough to allow me to live my life during my period without having to worry about being near a bathroom!

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  • Posted

    hi - you should not worry. the first night after treatment is not great (the pain is there but it is similar to having a really bad hangover!) but it passes quite quickly. so just stick with it for 18 hours. good luck

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