You had uterine artery embolization (UAE). UAE is a procedure to treat fibroids using radiology instead of surgery. During the procedure, the blood supply of the fibroids was cut off, causing them to shrink. The procedure took about 60 to 90 minutes.
You were given a sedative and a local anesthetic. An interventional radiologist made a 1/4-inch-long incision (cut) in your skin over the groin and inserted a catheter (a thin tube) into the femoral artery at the top of your leg. The radiologist then threaded the catheter into your uterine artery, the artery that supplies blood to the uterus.
Small plastic or gelatin particles were injected into the blood vessels that carry blood to the fibroids. These particles block the blood supply to the tiny arteries that carry blood to the fibroids. Without this blood supply, the fibroids will shrink and then die.
A low-grade fever and flulike symptoms are common for about a week after the procedure. A small bruise where the catheter was inserted is also normal. You may also have moderate-to-strong cramping pain for 1 to 2 weeks after the procedure. Your doctor will give you a prescription for pain medicine.
Most women need 1 to 2 weeks to recover after UAE before returning to work. It may take 2 to 3 months for your fibroids to shrink enough so that symptoms decrease and your menstrual cycle becomes normal.
Take it easy when you return home. When you first get home, move around slowly for just short periods of time.
Try using warm compresses or a heating pad for pelvic pain. Take your pain medicine the way your doctor told you. Make sure you have a good supply of sanitary pads at home. Ask your doctor how long you should avoid using tampons or douching.
You may resume a normal, healthy diet when you get home.
Showering is fine, but do not take baths for 5 days. Also, do not soak in a hot tub or go swimming for 5 days.
Follow up with your doctor to schedule pelvic ultrasounds and exams.
Call your doctor or nurse if you have:
Uterine fibroid embolization - discharge; UFE - discharge; UAE - discharge