(Tuesday, January 30, 2007) Decided to edit this post significantly. In my zeal to present different recovery experiences, I seem to have created a monster. Women are reading this post and becoming frightened over the UFE/UAE procedure. I’m obligated to try again. So, I’ll include my own recovery experience on this post to provide balance.
Note: Please realize that you are online. By its nature, the Internet will draw women having problems with fibroids and looking for answers. Women with great UFE/UAE recovery experiences probably aren’t searching online for fibroid information. I discovered this when looking for Lupron information several months ago. I was alarmed by the disproportionate number of negative Lupron experiences and decided to start a blog with a more balanced perspective. Hopefully, I’ve come close to that.
Last point and then I’ll talk about my recovery. I have a post about the bell curve. (Actually, there are a few women on the site that mention it.) A bell curve is a very good way to think about any fibroid treatment. Some women will land on one end of the curve or the other but the MAJORITY will fall in the middle right under the bell. The MAJORITY of women who have this procedure will benefit from it. The MAJORITY will have a recovery that falls within the “7-to-10-day” window.
Many women will notice a relief of fibroid symptoms within six weeks after the procedure. However, it takes a few months for the fibroids to fully shrink and the full effect of the procedure to be evident. About 90 percent of women who were bothered by symptoms related to the size of their fibroids will have a significant improvement and be satisfied with the results. Likewise, about 85 percent of women who had heavy bleeding from their fibroids will have lighter and shorter periods and be satisfied with the results. About 10 to 15 percent of women who have UFE will continue to have bothersome symptoms and usually require other treatment.
Note #2: You have to take into consideration the size, location, and number of fibroids in your case. This will determine the success of your UFE/UAE and the recovery you experience afterwards. I was not able to have a UFE until two small (I think 2cm each) submucosal fibroids were resected via Hysteroscopic Myomectomy first. This was done to minimize my risk of complication post-embolization. PLEASE talk to the Interventional Radiologist about your specific case and your specific fibroids (size, location, number). I cannot stress this enough.
Here’s my experience.
From the post that describes my UFE recovery:
What did I experience?
- Intense pain and nausea during the first 12 hours. I think the nausea was much worse than the pain.
- Moderate cramps for a couple of days afterward. I took over-the-counter Motrin.
- Vaginal discharge for about 10 days. Mostly mucus-like but some blood was present. Moderate to light.
- Digestive problems for about a week. Could not eat solid food. Constipation and stomach pain.
The pain right after my procedure wasn’t much worse than the previous cramps I experienced every month. It really was the nausea from the drugs that made me feel worse. By the next day, I was listening to Bob Marley and feeling great! I did not experience very much pain later. Constipation (from the hospital drugs) was my biggest problem. My recovery fell within the “7-to-10-day” window.
From the post about my period after UFE:
Approximately a three-day period? I’ve NEVER had that. Light bleeding the whole time? I’ve NEVER had that. I keep waiting and waiting for the other shoe to drop. It does not appear that it will. This is now reality. My “new” new normal. I am happy/goofy/loopy but confused. It is so different. It cannot be a period. I will have to call it a question mark.
Today (6 months post-UFE):
Periods range between 3.5 and 4 days. My last one was 4 days but I spotted most of the time. On days 2 and 3, there was occassional light-to-moderate bleeding. My periods are still question marks! I cannot even begin to tell you how this procedure changed my life. I have the energy to live and the ability to go out in the world and do it. I am really well physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Links with more information:
Society of Interventional Radiology
Treating Uterine Fibroid Tumors | Fibroid Embolization
Surgical Video of Uterine Fibroid Embolization (OR-Live.com)
What to Expect from a Uterine Artery Embolization
Possible Complications from Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Okay. Here’s your chance. Let us know how you’re feeling!
The UFE Experience. Wasn’t that a band during the 70s?
Memories right before my Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Memories directly after my Uterine Fibroid Embolization
My first several hours post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization
I’m really starting to think my wiring is kind of screwed
Two weeks after my Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Gosh…my period turned out to be a question mark!
My condition one month post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization
UPDATE: My condition two months post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization
UPDATE: My condition three months post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization
UPDATE: My condition four months post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization
UPDATE: My condition five months post-Uterine Fibroid Embolization