Going Home after your Fibroid Embolisation

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After a successful fibroid embolisation and overnight stay in the hospital, you should be able to return home the day after the procedure. In the first 48 hours after the procedure you should avoid heavy exertion. You might experience pelvic cramps for several days after the procedure, and possibly mild nausea, low-grade fever and malaise (a feeling of being ‘washed-out’ or having flulike symptoms). Thereafter you may do as much or little as you like though you may find that you are limited by the side effects of the procedure (see below). The cramps are most severe during the first day after procedure and will improve rapidly over the next few days. While in the hospital, you will be given strong painkillers to control the pain.

Once you return home, you may have further pain for up to two weeks (similar to bad period pain), but this can usually be controlled with oral pain killers that we will give you to take home. You may feel drained and tired for a week or so. We find that most people will need about 2 weeks off work.

What can I do when I go home?
• Keep a regular check on the puncture site where you had the procedure. To give the puncture site time to heal, do not drive for 48 hours after the procedure or do any form of strenuous exercise for 48 hours after the procedure.
• You can eat and drink as normal.
• Continue with your normal medication as usual, but if you take any diabetes medicines containing Metformin, please do not take them for the next two days after your procedure.
• You may have a cramping feeling in your lower abdomen ( similar to period pains) for a few weeks. We will give you painkillers when you leave hospital, which you can take as prescribed to treat this.
• You may expel the fibroids. They vary in size and will look like bits of grey body tissue. This is normal and you do not need to do anything.
• You will have vaginal discharge that can be brown, bloody, yellow or mucus-like. This is the breakdown product of the fibroids. This discharge usually lasts for about two weeks but occasionally it can last longer.
• If the discharge becomes excessively smelly and you also have pain or a temperature, there is the possibility of infection and you should contact your gynaecologist or GP as soon as possible.
• You may notice some bruising at the puncture site. Bleeding or swelling is rare but if it does happen, lie down and apply pressure directly on the site for ten minutes. If the bleeding or swelling continues after ten minutes you should go to your nearest Emergency Department taking this sheet with you.

When can I go back to work?
We usually recommend taking up to two weeks off work but this depends on what your work is, how flexible your work can be and how you feel.

Are there any other symptoms I should be aware of ?
You may pass out pieces of fibroid for several months after the procedure. It depends on the overall size and location of the fibroid(s) and occurs when fibroid tissue located near the lining of the uterus shrinks and partially detaches. The pieces of fibroid vary in size and will look like bits of grey body tissue. This is normal and you do not need to do anything. Very rarely if a larger fibroid is passed you may need to see your gynaecologist who can help with its removal. You may experience this as a painless passage of a fleshy mass from your vagina. Most women find it takes about six to nine months to resume a regular menstrual cycle.

When can I resume sexual intimacy?
We recommend that you avoid penetrative sex for at least six weeks after the procedure and that you use contraception (do not become pregnant) for six months. After six weeks, you can have sex as long as you are not experiencing pain or discharge.

Will I have follow-up appointment?
We will arrange for you to have follow-up MRI pelvis 6 months after the procedure and we will then see you or phone you in the interventional Radiology follow-up clinic. Your gynaecologist or GP may also see you during this period and this will vary depending on local considerations.

Contact us
Please contact the radiology department at MKH on 01908 996934. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, if you have any questions.

If you need urgent medical attention, contact your gynaecologist, your GP or go to your local Emergency Department.