As with any medical procedure, UFE has side effects, which include the following:
Pain is usually most intense the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Prescription painkillers will be provided. While the length of full recovery varies by individual, most women can return to their normal activities within one week of the procedure.
About 1/3 of all UFE patients will develop post-embolization syndrome, which is a fever accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting. This is similar to the flu, and typically lasts no longer than two to three days. In very rare cases, a patient will be hospitalized for a few days to treat the syndrome.
Occasionally, a patient will experience bruising at the site of the small incision. This will usually resolve itself within one week.
Reaction to X-Ray Contrast
There is a slight risk of reaction to the x-ray contrast. If you have had a previous reaction to x-ray contrast, tell the doctor during the pre-procedure consultation.
When UFE is not the best solution
Women who want to become pregnant
Although women who have undergone UAE subsequently became pregnant and successfully delivered healthy babies, UFE is a new procedure and long-term preservation of fertility has not been statistically proven. Myomectomy (selective surgical removal of the fibroids) is the recommended medical alternative if you plan to become pregnant.
For women whose fibroids are pedunculated (growing at the end of a “stalk”); this type of fibroid is best treated surgically. Your women’s healthcare provider will determine the type(s) of fibroids you have during your diagnostic visit.