Uterine Artery Embolisation

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi all,

I just came home after uterine artery embolisation (UAE). My radiologist said all went well, he was able to block arteries feeding to the biggie fibroid (size of a small melon, equivalent to 28weeks pregnancy tummy size!) I thought I might share my experience. Firstly I'm in my late 40s so fertility was less of an issue. I'm also highly anaemic--probably heavy bleeding doesn't help--so i was advised against surgical removal because of blood loss (my size fibroid can't be done as a keyhole) and I decided against hysterecotomy because of long recovery time.

The procedure took about just under 1 hr, i was on partial anaesthetics so was aware of surroundings though i opted to get sedation.  Post-op pain came back a couple of hours but i managed ok with morphine pump. But morphine gave me nausea so the following morning i switched to combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol and so far pain is under control. As I didn't get back to ward till the evening and my husband has a private insurance they let me stay an extra night instead of discharging me the next day so it was much better. Another thing is morphine gives you constipation, so took me a while to get rid of bloated feeling/tummy pressure.  I'm now just taking paracetamol or ibuprofen when i need just 2-3 times daily but hope the pain (initially it's really like labour pain but gradually like a bad cramp) goes away. Hope this helps someone thinking of UAE.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for sharing. I have strongly considering this procedure as well and am in the same boat as you with fibroid size. I'm just concerned that it would send me into early menopause. I would love to hear your progress updates on shrinkage and side effects as you move along. Where did you have the procedure done? Best of luck on your road to recovery!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for good wishes. My procedure was at BMI hospital in Enfield (not Enfield Chase but next to it). Will keep you posted on shrinkage/progress... I forgot to say I was told, post-op, no intercourse for 8 weeks and no tampon for 3-6months. I'm wondering how my first period would turn out to be 'cuz it can be lighter or heavier...
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  • Posted

    Hello Michal!

    Thank you soo much for sharing your story!

    I’m scheduled for a UFE in Oct this year. And I’m nervous about it… not sure this is the right way for me to go…

    My situation is a bit different from yours.

    I really want to have children. Haven’t gotten any yet… because of my fibroids. I have a really big one in the back of my uterus. 10-13 cm. And aside from that one I have another 9 of them. Different sizes.

    I don’t have any heavy bleeding anymore though. My period is not bothering me really. And not anemic now either. Have been though.

    But there’s pressure, really swollen too and the fertility issue.

    My doc says she won’t be able to get more than the really big one if she performs a myomectomy on me. And… having a myomectomy in my sit, just removing the big one… will then give the other fibroids/monsters all the room and time to grow bigger and bigger…

    But I’m really worried about this early menopause… The changing of the climate in the uterus… the issue with that the fibroids sometimes doesn’t shrink with UFE… No tampons for 6 months afterwards… oj… hope that the bleeding won’t be massive than…

    I’m 38 years old, so this is my only chance. I can’t wait years and have other operations to be able to conceive… this is my only chance…

    So if it’s possible, to stay in touch. And you could tell us about the progress. If they shrink.

    Good luck on your way to recovery!!



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  • Posted

    So, it's been about 2weeks since procedure, and I think I've recovered pretty well.  The first week , I was quite tired, still had mild pain (though mostly went away after day 3) with mild fever (37.5C). I was told to drink lots of water to "wash away" imaging chemicals,  pain/fever was under control with alternative ibuprofen and paracetamol 3 times daily. I had little appetite and really had difficulty normalising bowel movement because of morphine. (In retrospect, i should have taken a mild laxative because it takes a day or two to work).

    I took precaution and took another week off work, but the second week was much better. I was able to gradually increase physical activities (mostly walking to shops), didn't spent much time in bed (aside from afternoon naps).  The tiny incision site was sore for the first week under the belly button but now no noticeable soreness.

    I've been having minor spotting but dunno if it's because of the procedure or just my period coming early.  So far, my waist size seems unchanged but it's supposed to take several months for the fibroid to shrink. At least no more stress incontinence espisodes for me which is great.

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