how to prepare for uterine fibroid embolization

Undergoing any medical procedure, even if it is as minimally invasive as uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), can be daunting. We know this, and we’re here to help. When you are fully informed about the procedure and take the recommended measures to achieve positive outcomes, you can approach the process with confidence and peace of mind. With that goal in mind, let’s take a look at UFE.

Uterine fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure for fibroid removal. UFE is performed in an office under light sedation and does not involve general anesthesia or sutures. A local anesthetic is administered to prevent you from experiencing pain during the procedure, and then a catheter is inserted. The procedure usually does not last longer than an hour, and you can return home the same day.

The specialists at our USA Fibroid Centers are here to answer any questions you might have about fibroids or UFE. We want to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decisions for your health.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to prepare for uterine fibroid embolization, what to expect after UFE treatment, and when to call your fibroid specialist.

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UFE Preparation

If you’re interested in exploring fibroid embolization treatment, the first step is to schedule an initial consultation with a fibroid specialist. Bring your photo ID, insurance card, a list of current medications and other relevant medical information to your appointment.

During your visit, your fibroid specialist will review your medical imaging to determine the size, location and number of fibroids to address. Next, they will perform a physical examination, ask about your symptoms and medical history and discuss your treatment goals. Finally, your doctor will make treatment recommendations and develop a personalized care plan.

If you decide to undergo UFE, you can schedule treatment at any of our USA Fibroid Centers nationwide.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization Procedure Before & After

Before the treatment:

Inform your doctor about all the medications that you are taking and if you have any drug allergies. Your doctor may also order blood tests to assess your general health and readiness for the procedure. Contact your doctor if you develop cold or flu symptoms or other illnesses before your UFE treatment.

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids on the day before treatment, but do not eat or drink anything after midnight. If you normally take morning medications, ask your doctor for specific instructions before UFE.

On the day of treatment:

Take the following measures on the day of your treatment:

  • Bathe or shower prior to arrival.
  • Avoid applying lotions or wearing strong perfumes.
  • Remove all jewelry, piercings and contact lenses.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Bring someone to drive you home.

A mild sedative is injected into your vein to keep you relaxed during the procedure. A numbing medication is applied in the groin area, and a catheter is placed in the vein using a needle. The catheter is guided by real-time imaging into the artery that is feeding the fibroid. Next, tiny particles are introduced into the catheter that block the blood supply to the fibroid.

Watch Malorie Bailey’s UFE Treatment she had at USA Fibroid Centers:

After UFE treatment:

After your UFE procedure, you will be taken to a recovery room to be monitored. You will likely have some  pain similar to strong menstrual cramps for about a day. We can administer pain medications as needed. You may have a small bruise or swelling at the catheter site, but this will go away on its own.

When you’re ready, you can be driven home to begin your recovery period, which will likely last one to two weeks. Some women experience nausea and/or a low-grade fever during the first couple of days after fibroid embolization. Your doctor will advise you on post-procedural medication options.

If you have questions about UFE preparation or what to expect after treatment, contact one of our experienced fibroid specialists.

Recovering From UFE

Most women recover from uterine fibroid embolization quickly and return to normal daily activities within one to two weeks. Make sure you eat well and remain hydrated during your recovery period. Immediately after a UFE procedure, you can expect to have cramping in your lower abdomen for the first 24 hours. It will feel similar to what you would experience during your normal menstrual cycle but will subside quickly.

Most doctors recommend that you plan to stay at home for the first week to recover from UFE. Here are some other restrictions that will be in place after the procedure.

During your recovery:

  • Get plenty of rest to aid your healing.
  • Do not take baths for two weeks, but shower as normal.
  • Use pads instead of tampons during your next period.
  • Abstain from sex for two weeks.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise.
  • Do not travel for two weeks.

If you have questions about UFE preparation or what to expect after treatment, contact one of our experienced fibroid specialists.

You may experience vaginal bleeding, spotting, or discharge for up to several weeks following treatment. Symptoms improve over time as the treated fibroids begin to shrink. This process usually takes between three and six months. Going forward, your daily life should no longer be ruled by fibroid symptoms. When your periods return, they are likely to be lighter, shorter and more regular than before UFE. If you were anemic as a result of heavy periods, your blood counts should soon return to normal.

Other improvements depend on which symptoms you experienced prior to uterine fibroid embolization. If you lived with frequent urination or constipation due to fibroids before UFE, you may notice a significant difference as undue pressure on your bladder and bowel fades away. If sex has been painful, it should soon become more comfortable. If an enlarged uterus caused you to look pregnant prior to treatment, its post-procedure shrinking will help your body to reshape.

Getting rid of fibroid symptoms can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Many women report feeling more confident and having higher self-esteem after UFE.

When Should You Call Your Fibroid Specialist?

After fibroid embolization, contact your fibroid specialist with concerns about your post-procedure recovery. You should always report signs of infection, such as high fever, chills, excessive bleeding, blood clots or an adverse reaction to any prescribed medication.

Schedule a Consultation With Uterine Fibroid Experts

Uterine fibroid embolization can help alleviate challenging fibroid symptoms. To learn more about uterine fibroids, UFE preparation and life after UFE, call us at 855.615.2555 or schedule a consultation online today. We are here to provide all the information and support that you need to prepare for uterine fibroid embolization and a successful recovery.