UFE Tomorrow

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Hi new friends! I turned 30 in April and apparently have been an incubator for four bouncing baby fibroids for at least a year now--in ascending order, they're a lemon, an apple, an orange, and a grapefruit. I don't want children (this will not change, I promise) but a hysterectomy is a major surgery that I currently don't have the time or patience for, so I opted for the embolization.

I know the procedure will go well, I trust both my gyno and the radiologist she referred me to, but I'm still having some anxiety. Is there anyone here who has gone through this who would be willing to share their experiences with me? How was the first 24 hours after the procedure? What helped you when you got home? Anything weird that you noticed? How was your pain? Strangely, I'm most anxious about the possibility of vomiting (I hate it) and I'm having trouble talking about that because in the grand scheme of things, it's very silly. But I'm still terrified of it. What helped you with that, if anything? Is that related to the procedure, or to the painkillers?

I've been trying not to think about it too much but since exactly 24 hours from now there's going to be a catheter in my femoral artery I'm starting to freak out a little bit. I'm hoping hearing from other people who've had the procedure will help me calm down a little bit. Thank you so much <3

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  • Posted

    Hi Nikki,

    Good luck with the UFE. I had mine done this past October. When I read what you typed, I cringed. lol

    So, I was vomiting for two days (not ALL day/night, but enough to dehydrate me at home). Here is the thing to do...The hospital only had a pill you had to take with food, which I could not handle. Once I got home, a pharmacist told my hubby about a pill you take sublingual (under tongue). You can't eat food for a half hour once you take it, which was not told to me. I was only in the hospital for the day. My radiologist thought I was going to stay overnight because I was vomiting, but I wanted to go home. I was fine once I had the correct pills for me. I believe for me, the stomach was upset from the anesthesia, but who knows. I dealt with it and vomiting is a nightmare for me. I kept telling my radiologist prior that I didn't want to vomit at all, she was upset that the worst happened.

    As for the pain after the procedure, I was able to handle it because A) I did meditative feedback & B) I used Ibuprofen ONLY because I refused opoids. I took about 600 or 800 mg of OTC products (saved me money and no constipation problems). C) I went for 10- 15 minute walks outside to undo any cramping (once home on Day 2). By Day 3, I was crampy, but took the Ibuprofen.

    My fibroids (2 cm - 13 cm) have shrunk, my periods are minimal (skipping some months, but I am over 50), and my "pregnant" stomach is not protruding as much. When I look back any discomfort that I had after the procedure was well worth the outcome! No more heavy bleeding, no more lack of iron, no more tiredness, and really the list goes on. I don't remember a catheter in me, if there was one. I NEVER had any anesthesia in my life, so for me that was scary, but I survived. lol

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi Cindy, thank you so much for your response! When you say the hospital only had a pill you could take with food, do you mean to specifically treat the nausea? That's such an odd thing, considering I don't expect someone who's nauseous to really be able to eat much at all.

      I'm doing a 23 hour stay at the hospital and have been told I'll be on morphine immediately following the procedure, but won't need to take anything heavier than Tylenol once I'm home (which is great, because I have a history of substance abuse--everything will be fine but I'd much rather not have something easily abused in my living area haha), so it's comforting to hear that you were able to manage the pain using only ibuprofen and some short walks. As for the vomiting, well, at least it's nice to hear there was someone else who was insistent on not wanting to vomit. That makes me feel less alone in that uneasiness smile

      I'm SO happy to hear the procedure has been so worth it for you. My symptoms have been minimal compared to others but I'm hoping for periods that are easier to manage and that the excessive cramping I experience will at least dissipate significantly. Thanks again!

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  • Posted

    I had it done last September my fibroid is inside my womb. Was on morphine pump and had to lie flat for a few hours but was not sick the next day morphine pump was finished but I was getting home anyway the day I got home was sore but the next day eased off. UFE never worked for me now getting a hysterectomy but have heard people say it works for them everyone is different. Took me nearly 4 weeks to get back to work. Take all pain relief you can. Good luck am sure you will be fine 
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  • Posted

     I had this procedure a year ago in July. I found many women on this site who helped me with a lot of my anxiety. Everyone has a different experience, but I found a few people that told me I was going to be fine. This helped a lot. I had heavy bleeding and blood clots so I had to do something. I did not want to have a hysterectomy. I was also anemic. The procedure went very well and I was awake the whole time.    I was very nervous but it was not as bad as some of the terrible stories I had read about in the past. I stayed on my back for a couple hours after the procedure. I had a pump to manage my pain in the hospital. I did vomit one time but I think it was because I did not have any food in my stomach. I spent 1 night in the hospital. My advice to you would be to try to eat a little bit and stay on top of the pain with whatever medicine you decide to take. It took about a week at home for me to gain my energy back but I never had too much pain. On a scale of 1 to 10, think I was only at a 2 or 3. I’m glad I chose UFE. Good luck and try to relax. I prayed a lot and I think it helped. I also had a great doctor!
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  • Posted

    Hi Nikki 

    As others have noted, UAE seems to work for some and not others, recovery also is better w some than others. I was diagnosed w a lemon sized fibroid nearly 10 years ago in my 30s but it caused me no pain so I left it. The gynaecologist then said if he was going to treat it he’d rather do a hysterectomy which is the long term solution for those who do not wish to have children. Last yeat my menstrual bleeding got much worse and I decided to have the UAE.

    Unfortunately my recovery was not great. General anaesthetic makes you nauseous but you recover in 24 hours. Morphine is for the pain and it’s side effect is much more nausea thus for me I was in a bad way for 24 hours. I think if you haven’t had much to eat before you can avoid vomiting. Bleeding and discharge, for me, was continuous for six months and I suffered upper thigh pain for a month or so - this I wasn’t warned about and my legs took a while to recover. I am now 9 months post UAE and my fibroids have not shrunk though my stomach is a bit softer than before when it could feel rock hard. In hindsight I’m not sure this was right for me as my periods are now irregular w same heavy, sometimes heavier, blood flow. At least before they were timely. 

    This is likely worst case scenario. I’m surprised they want to operate when you have no symptoms as sometimes fibroids shrink o their own. For me, I found mine did w weight loss (fibroids feed off of oestrogen which is found in fat cells). 

    I very much hope you are one of the the lucky ones where the UAE works w a good recovery and don’t mean to add to any anxiety but it’s good to go into surgery w all facts.

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