How is pain managed after a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?
Uterine fibroids are benign muscular growths on the wall of the uterus. In many instances the fibroids are large enough to cause symptoms that interfere with daily life.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment that is an alternative to a myomectomy or hysterectomy (two surgical procedures that involve removing part of all of the uterus).
The UFE causes the fibroid tissue to die, breaking down, dissolving, and leaving the body. However, this process can cause pain, discomfort, fever, and cramps.
We have a well-defined plan for management of pain. We use a variety of prescription and non-prescription medications to ensure that our patients have limited pain. We review this plan with our patients when the procedure is scheduled and again on the day of the procedure. If needed, we can tailor this plan to fit your specific situation.
When a patient leaves the Preferred Fibroid & Vascular Center, we have already made sure that her pain is well-controlled. We are available after hours should any questions or concerns arise. For most patients, only over-the-counter medication is needed after 3 days to manage any pain or discomfort.
We are often asked about our excellent pain management plans. Here is some basic information to help you understand how we respond to pain and symptoms experienced by patients:
How long does it typically take to fully recover from a uterine fibroid embolization?
A recovery process of about one week is usually recommended before returning to full work or personal activity. We see each of our patients 2 weeks after the procedure. We continue to monitor and evaluate your recovery process for at least 2 months although you may continue to experience improvement for more than 6 months after your procedure. We continue to support and inform our patients throughout preparation, treatment, and recovery.
How is pain managed during the procedure?
The patient is sedated and typically feels minimal pain. General anesthesia (in which the patient is completely unconscious) is not required.
How is pain managed immediately after a UFE?
Pain medications, including a limited amount of narcotics, are used to manage pain immediately after treatment. NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, and Tylenol can be helpful to some patients. If a patient experiences mild nausea, we provide anti-nausea medication as well.
How is pain managed in the first 2-3 days after a UFE?
It is normal to feel crampy and experience mild pain in the abdomen or mild pelvic pain. Vaginal discharge with brown or reddish spotting can happen for a month after a uterine fibroid embolization.
Some patients experience a low fever for a few days, and sometimes pain medication can cause mild heartburn or constipation.
Our pain management plan can include everything from a limited amount of narcotic pain medication to helpful at-home comforts such as a heating pad (or some warm tea!).
Patients have no food restrictions beyond their normal restrictions, but may want to start with smaller meals, especially if you feel some nausea. Sometimes stool softeners are given for constipation.
How is activity restricted after a UFE?
You may feel tired for a week or two and will need to avoid lifting more than 10 pounds for 48 hours. For a week, you’ll need to avoid strenuous exercise. Many patients are able to get back to work and other activities after one week.
Reach out today
We have been providing the Uterine Fibroid Embolization procedure (UFE) for women in Georgia for years. Reach out to us today for a consultation to see if the UFE is right for you.