Weight Gain After Embolization

Posted , 27 users are following.

I am hoping for any information on this. I had an embolization done almost a year ago on a fibroid that was the size of a cantelope. I was 145 lbs, 5-8, and had started gaining abdominal weight. Once I had the procedure, weight never came off and only added to. I am now 175. I eat healthy, allergic to many things, so I have a strict diet. I eat anywhere from 800-1800 calories a day depending on my work day. I was anemic for almost a year, couldn't work out. Ferritin was really low, had 2 sets of infusions for that. I now have Hashimotos as well. I was even put on a weight loss drug adipex and didn't lose a pound. I feel helpless at this point. I want it to go away, I am not used to this body and I don't have clothes that fit and I refuse to by anything bigger. 

Any thoughts? 

5 likes, 38 replies

38 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi KC,

    I am pre procedure so can't give you any after advice but what I will say is this.

    I was btween 10/11 stone pre fibroid, now at my heaviest I was 17 1/2 stone, fibroid not sole reason but a massive contributor. Mine is 16cmx16cm, I've had almost 2 years on various drugs & they have helped me balloon to whale proportions. However I do like my food & though I eat healthily or what I thought was healthily portions are on the large side. For the past few weeks, I have kept a food diary, I have written down everything I eat (as the things I eat but don't write down are calorie free of course!! only joking) If you bite it rite it! Those things I thought were healthy I have scrutinised, as salads I bought when in a rush varied from 117 calories to a whopping 862! I would never have believed it! A salad! Anyway, I check, I write & I've already had 1stone of stubborn, hormone drug fat come off over Christmas & New Year. Putting a stone of books in a rucksack makes me realise when people say its just a stone how heavy a stone is.

    I will have to have a procedure I would ahve liked to have tried embolisation first before hysterctomy but the main arteries feeding my fibroid are narrow & because its still growing even when on drug reducing treatment I'm thinking its because its got lots of little feeds! I'm currently awaitng results from a scan & MRA so then I'll decide. In the meantime, I'm struggling with weigh loss but in all honesty I can easily function on 1000 kcals a day having treats too, so my advice keep a food journal, strictly. Give it a month, try & restric daily calories to the lower end of your allowance/usual when you can & see what the result is. As if you do that for a month & there is no loss & you are completely honest if you bite it rite it then there may be a medical issue that needs more investigation.

    Would you mind if I asked you a couple of questions about your embolisation please? What were the neasurements of your fibroid & where was it? What type was it? How big is your fibroid now? Were you worried with a fibroid the size you had that the dying tissue would infect as it degenerated? As I believe more of a risk with large fibroids. How painful was the procedure, how long did you need to recover? Would you recommend it? What have the consultants said about your procedure success? Has it reduced heavy periods? Did you have fatter arteries feeding it? Would seem my feeding arteries are the only thing in my body not fat! Typical! Is this it for you now or will you have to consider getting whatever of the fibroid is left removed? Did you suffer with a bad back, constant weeing, numbness in leg? If so did that improve? Sorry for all of the questions, just with you saying cantelope, I'm thinking similar size to mine. x

    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply.

      The fibroid is really small now. I am almsot 1 yr out and it was the size of a cantelope, don't remember dimensions, but now it is smaller than a golf ball.

      I wasn't worried that it would desenergrate, doctor said that is really rare. I didn't have any pain. I was off the pain meds at the hospital a few hours after and only took aleve for a week to reduce immflamation.

      Lots of people have trouble, I didn't. My periods are still really heavy, they don't know why. Don't know about the arteries. I was having back pain, but that is common for me. No numbness or constant urination.

      I recovered well, and was back to work within 3 days, they said that was fine. driving 3 days post opt as well. each person is different.

  • Posted

    I'm in much the same position your are.  I was 150 lbs, 5'6" when I was diagnosed 10 yrs ago (2006) with fibroids.  I was also anemic for several long years.  Sleep seemed to be the only thing I could do.  I also had a brain tumour discovered and then removed in 2014.  Due to the craniotomy I can't run or jog anymore.  And the weight gain has reached 176 lbs.  I have tried every diet going and the only two things that have worked was Atkins, where I lost 20 lbs for 1 year.  And Hepatitis where I lost 30 lbs for 2 years.  I have gained every lb back and they brought friends too.  At my age, 51, my metabolizm is much slower than it once was.  And as unhappy as I am with my body size, I still try to drink as much water as I can and slow the grow flow.  I still have my fibroids, but am working on shrinking them so that I can have a newer treatment that gets rid of them for good.

    • Posted

      sorry to hear about your long standing journey. I didn't realise a lot of water helped reduced growth. Difficult that one as I'm at the loo every 30 mins as it is. What new treatment are you referring to?

  • Posted

    Hi, I am 1 year post op...had UFE in June 2016. Since then my stomach is still big and I continue to gain weight. I am 50 and before the procedure I had a really nice shape but it is slowly becoming a thing of the past. None of my clothes fit and it is so depressing. I am told the fibroids have shrunk but hat my uterus is still enlarged. I don't have the pressure or frequent urination anymore but now I have hot flashes. It appears that the UFE has thrown me in to menopause. My cycle comes every other month now. If I had to do it over again I would not have had the procedure. I would have had them surgically removed. I do not feel like the doctor was 100 percent truthful and clear with me. My reason for this procedure was to save my uterus, not have surgery and not go in to menopause, all of which I was told would not happen but it did. I workout and still don't lose weight. I don't know what to do.

  • Posted

    Hi Kc10,

    Wow! Our stories are quiet similar regarding our post experiences with the UFE. First, my apologies to you for your weight gain & illnesses.

    My story is, I too was roughly about 145 lbs, size 8 my entire life. After hearing about the UFE & John Lipman fabulous procedure my husband & chose to go that route.

    What a BIG mistake. I am now 169 to 170 lbs, size 12 & in FULL menopause. I have my surgery in 2016 & am fully convinced that I will never lose the weight again. I am an avid runner, I work-out several times a week & the scale doesn't go down. It's very upsetting to the point I want to take legal actions because this should not be the case. So now I am a LOUD spokes person to tell my story & to persuade others against having the surgery. In addition, the surgery was much more complex than we were informed & the recovery was equally as brutal as a myomectomy.

  • Posted

    Ok...so I am VERY concerned now. I did not know that this was a thing and I

    am extremely disturbed. I am scheduled to have UFE next month but if after reading this I am terrified! I’m 140lbs, 5’7 and have been for many years. I’m actually smaller than that but I round up. Now I seriously need advice!!!

  • Posted

    I had fibroid embolisation in April 2018. 10.3cm penduculated fibroid that was growing from my uterus into my abdominal cavity. I did not want partial/full hysterectomy so the option given was to undergo the embolisation. I am an avid endurance runner and before carrying this extra weight around wasn't good but energy levels good. Post procedure, intense pain as my back went on the table as the procedure was coming to an end, I was in recovery four hours, screaming in pain. The pain eased at 2am. Period came three days after and lasted two weeks, no passing of anything or tissue. Normal cycle followed, then July, immune system crashed, two periods in one month, caught a cold then went into a chest infection, bladder infection hence possible why I had two cycles in a month GP said can mess with cycle. Exhaustion unbelievable. I came out of the shower one evening and felt unattractive due to my excessive weight gain since procedure and found a lump in my abdominal cavity, had an ultrasound to be told it's benign come back if it gets bigger plus a small tear in my abdominal muscle, no explanation and I just burst into tears. I have also developed blepharitis (loss of eye lashes) and thinning of hair, is this due to the contrast I wonder? I am so physically exhausted unable to run and do day to day chores and now my cycle is 8 days late possible premenopausal (47), libido gone. My advice DO NOT HAVE FIBROID EMBOLISATION - it has wrecked havoc with my health. Thankfully I have a very understanding partner and naturally concerned.

  • Posted

    I had UFE May 2017. I was having terrible cramps, heavy bleeding, urinary incontinence, estrogen dominance, pain with intercourse, low libido, hair loss, high blood pressure. My fibroids were so big you could feel the hard areas rubbing my stomach. MRI showed my uterus was size of someone 4 months pregnant. I was scheduled to have robotic hysterectomy but opted for UFE. Dr. Lipman was great & his staff was pleasant. I will say recovery was horrible for me. I couldn't stomach much of anything (nausea/throwing up) which meant I couldn't take the pain pills. The camping was unbearable and I did deal with gas pains real bad. The worse part only lasted for 3 days then I felt better. I no longer get cramps, period is much lighter, stomach no longer has the hard balls & is flatter, libido is coming back, incontinence almost back to non-existent. Still have some issues with pain during certain sex positions but I also have a slightly tilted uterus due to childbirth. One thing I have noticed, WEIGHT GAIN. Before UFE, I was 5'5 & went back & forth between 135-145lbs depending on how much I worked out. My diet hasn't changed since before UFE & I don't eat a lot of bad stuff. I'm a salad lover. I just got on the scale a few days ago & I'm at 164lbs. It's a weird weight gain. I can still fit into same size clothes I was wearing before (size 6) although some things are a little tighter but I'm not busting out. And some fit exactly the same but the scale keeps creeping up. I first noticed I was at 155lbs & couldn't believe it. Not sure how the weight is there (15-20lbs difference) but I can still fit my clothes. I also deal a little more with feeling warm but not full blown hot flashes. Wonder what is causing this???? So confused & want to get back down in weight.

  • Edited

    I am so grateful to have found this thread and read your experiences. I had UFE just over six months ago - have talked to the interventional radiologist and scoured the internet with my concerns about my symptoms. It seems that everywhere you read these glowing reports about how successful UFE is, and that has not been my experience at all. For the first time, after reading this thread I do not feel horribly alone and helpless. Like a few of the ladies here, I am an athlete who tracks workouts and macros - and the last year I have gained 45lbs. The weight did start about 6 months before my procedure. One month I shot up 10lbs pre-procedure and I've had similar precipitous increases post - with periods of plateau. Prior to, I had a body fat percentage of 18% and now I'm over 32%. I am multi-fibroidous with 3 large fibroids which have only decreased by 1cm each post UFE after 6 months. So I'm still rocking a womb full of fibroids - doctors and the literature will tell you that reduction averages 30-50% in the 3-6 months after procedure - that did not hold true for me. Additional post UFE symptoms for me include a drastic loss of libido and continued bladder pressure. Although I am no longer hemoraging like the Hoover Dam, I'm finding little solace in this as the sprinkling drops of blood each month are as equally disturbing to me. It feels like just as abnormal a period as when I was gushing, now just in reverse. My uterus feels shut down, dormant and traumatized by the procedure. NO doctor has yet to be able to guide or help me as I try to truly heal. I believe that the doctors consider UFE a success because they stop the rampant bleeding and that is their sole criteria. It seems that women's total health and wellness is not included data in these studies. I am very dismayed and disappointed with this procedure. At this point, I am embarking on trying to heal my symptoms and fibroids through energy and plant modalities - massage, marigold flower tea, castor oil packs, journaling, acupuncture, acknowledging that the uterus is the 'lower' or second heart, etc. Western medicine has completely let me down in this healing of my uterus journey, I hope that I will eventually be able to find help. I agree with the other ladies here that the unexplained weight gain is very distressing, and I hope that we are all able to get to the bottom of this.

    • Posted

      Hi, I chose to reply to your post because you were here most recently. I had UFE done November 2021 and almost immediately gained weight. I'm 20+ pounds heavier than the day of my procedure despite being a whole foods vegan with a vigorous 4x weekly workout routine and lots of other moving day to day. It doesn't seem possible to have gained this much weight through a lifestyle that has not largely changed, and I'm worried it won't come off. How are you doing now?

      This is the only forum I could find that talked openly about this. Hoping someone sees my message despite this being an old thread. Be well. x

    • Posted

      I was told my fibroid was the size of an orange, medium size fibroid- (3month) pregnant lady. I had my procedure by John Lipman back about April 6,2022. I did not experience a pinch of pain during recovery and questioned if I had a procedure at all..I was generally working out 4days per week. I had a follow up at 3month marker to find out I only had a 25% reduction of size. I was disappointed and struggled with bloating and the appointment fee of $1500 for the follow up. Since the follow up in August, I work out 5-6 days a week. This has help to change my muscle mass and tremendeous success with weight manangement. I scheduled my next follow up with my regular OBGYN for Nov.30. and Im praying for closer to 50% reduction. Im 5'9 185 lb with a very curvy shape. I wear a girdle most days to make sure my bulge is under control.

    • Posted

      Hi, I'm also in the same boat as everyone. I had my ufe in November 2021,I stayed in hospital for a week beacuse of pain. I've been a runner all my life and still continue to run and exercise. I've gained 20kg in a year, still exercising, still eating healthy and have eliminated carbs all together. The procedure has helped with my flow but my stomach is so big , you'd swear im pregnant. Looking in the mirror is awful because I don't recognise myself . I've had to buy new clothes as the ones I have don't fit. I am on the verge of years 😢😢.

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.