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Fibroids - Uterine Artery Embolism

(19 Posts)
LunaLoveg00d Mon 19-Sep-16 20:11:16

Looking for anyone who has been through this. I knew I had a fibroid and knew it was causing me problems with heavy bleeding, but have just had a scan and it's 9cm across - the size of a baby's head.

Doctor suggested a hysterectomy (open procedure but leaving the ovaries) or as an alternative the Uterine Artery Embolism. This is obviously a much more appealing alternative to a major operation, 6 weeks not driving and lots longer in hospital.

Has anyone had this and is it worth considering before the hysterectomy? I'm 44.

user1471433754 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:58:42

I had the embolisation done as I had a large fibroid about 10cm but it didnt work and I was told afterwards by another consultant that it was really a procedure for smaller fibroids. This was about 6 years ago. Dont want to put you off but it was a very painful thing to get done if your chances of getting rid of your fibroid are low. I would speak to your consultant again. Dont mean to be negative but I can only go on my own experience. Good luck

LunaLoveg00d Tue 20-Sep-16 07:41:14

Thanks, I still have to go through the process of having a MRI to get a better look at the fibroid before making a decision.

Really though my two choices are the embolisation or hysterectomy, and I really don't want to go through hysterectomy unless I really have to.

Merrylegs Tue 20-Sep-16 08:36:25

I was the same age as you when I had an abdominal hysterectomy but left ovaries (couple of years ago). Mine was 'size of basketball' and oh God the relief when it was out was amazing. I was in hospital for three days. It was incredibly painful after the op (morphine helped) and for the first week after I came home I was pretty much bed bound. I was signed off work for 6 weeks but actually felt so much better after three weeks and could drive then as well, take kids to school etc Just be really vigilant about not lifting anything for 6 weeks and take it easy - but you won't be completely dysfunctional! I was prescribed Esmya before the op to try and shrink the fucker but that didn't work. Honestly I went from looking 6 months pregnant with this thing sitting on my bladder, bleeding copiously, it moving around when I walked, to a flat stomach, feeling of emptiness, no more bleeding. (nice scar though!) It was a big thing at the time (trying to sort it out, decide what to do for the best, having surgery) but I am so glad I am not living with it anymore. Good luck though.

LunaLoveg00d Tue 20-Sep-16 08:43:08

Fibroids are EVIL. I do feel constantly bloated and was asked the other week whether I was pregnant, and with a fibroid the size of a baby's head in my uterus that's hardly surprising.

Life would be much simpler if the doctors just told me what to do rather than leave the decision up to me.

Merrylegs Tue 20-Sep-16 08:51:43

I think it's a funny age too. If we were younger then probably the hysterectomy would be a total last resort, try everything else first but we're kind of 'on the cusp' so we have an 'either or' situation. I kept the ovaries because I didn't want to deal with menopause and the op at the same time - and also I felt like the less out, the less invasive it would be. Not sure how true that is but psychologically it worked for me!

Merrylegs Tue 20-Sep-16 08:54:25

(Sorry I saw yr other thread on this where you mention your age, hope OK!)

Owllady Tue 20-Sep-16 11:29:53

Luna, I think I'd try the embolisation first before hysterectomy. I do know what you mean 're just being told what to do. I think my gynae wants me to have a 'trimming' confused and an ablation though, but I'll tell you next week. I think in hindsight I've had them for ages but every time I have been to the GP 're my periods I've been told its stress etc. It's only because I started getting irregular and mid cycle bleeding anything was followed up

I've finished my family too which I think makes any decisions easier

LunaLoveg00d Tue 20-Sep-16 11:33:51

I've booked the MRI to establish more clearly what type of fibroid I have, and how it's attached. Once that is done the decision may be clearer.

Owllady Tue 20-Sep-16 11:35:27

When is your mri?

Dozer Tue 20-Sep-16 11:37:58

Is there any relevant guidance on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website?

LunaLoveg00d Tue 20-Sep-16 13:52:33

Waiting for them to call me back - approx 2 weeks wait she said.

LunaLoveg00d Tue 20-Sep-16 21:10:04

Have also been told that as I have a Mirena coil in my uterus which is being pushed out of place by the fibroid, that I will have to undergo a separate procedure under general anaesthetic to have that out too.

So it's not as simple as embolism vs hysterectomy any more.

RunnyRattata Tue 20-Sep-16 21:18:50

I have had both.
I had the embolisation in my late 30s as I suspected I hadn't finished my family yet. I also wanted to keep my hormones as long as possible and had been told the ovaries tend to pack up sooner with no womb.
It worked for reducing bleeding but not size. It was up to my belly button in height.
After my last child and when I was approaching 50 I opted for a hysterectomy.
I'd go for the leadt invasive/final option first because if it doesn't work then you can move to Plan B.

Nellyphants Wed 21-Sep-16 13:56:14

I had hystercopsy myomecyomy uterine ablation & embolisation. Nothing worked. I had an abdominal hysterectomy & my only regret is that I bothered with the other procedures.

tearsofrobertsmith Wed 21-Sep-16 22:40:00

I was offered a hysterectomy leaving ovaries (vertical incision) or the embolisation. 11 cm fibroid and about 5/6 smaller ones. Heavy bleeding but that wasn't the problem. I was increasingly experiencing urinary retention. The large fibroid was compressing the ureters when my bladder was full. I frequently couldn't pee despite having a really full bladder, this is agonising and in the middle of the night multiple times a week I was ready to take myself to A and E to have a catheter fitted. (Could always manage to pee eventually but the pain was incredible and I'd be sitting on the loo for ages sobbing). Decided on the embolisation as I've a 2 year old and would find it very difficult to not be able to care for her for a few weeks.
Procedure done in March this year, rather uncomfortable but well controlled with a morphine drip thingy and was home the next day. A little bleeding for a couple of days. Urinary symptoms disappeared within two weeks. Bleeding a bit less. I could feel my fibroids from the outside and now I can't.
I've had a further MRI this summer and saw my consultant a few weeks ago. He is very pleased indeed with the MRI, the large fibroid has shrunk by over 50 per cent and the smaller ones have disappeared or shrunk.
He was thrilled to bits to learn that this has been life changing for me. I can't recommend it enough. However, the placement and type of fibroid have everything to do with it being a success. Have the MRI and the consultant can give you a good idea of success rate for the type you have. He doesn't think mine will grow back but if they do he can perform the procedure again and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
I was happy enough to have a hysterectomy as I know our family is complete but it felt drastic when there was this alternative to try. If it hadn't worked I was prepared to have a hysterectomy.
Good luck with it all.

BlondishBear Wed 21-Sep-16 23:02:54

HI Luna, you have my sympathies, fibroids are a nightmare.
I had the UAE after suffering for 2 years with a 30cm fibroid. Being 27 most of the doctors I saw didn't want to do anything at all but it was obviously stopping me getting pregnant as well as being very painful. First 24 hours after in hospital were fine on some lovely morphine, and the next 4 days at home were spent sweating, throwing up and unable to sleep because of the pain. After 2 weeks was feeling ok, still a bit under the weather. Was back in work after 4 weeks taking the odd paracetamol. 6 month follow up scan showed it had shrunk to just under 10cm, and 3 months after the that I got pregnant grin.
It's definitely worth having but be prepared to feel the worst pain ever... worse than child birth mixed with flu symptoms, but it doesn't last long.

LunaLoveg00d Wed 21-Sep-16 23:59:36

Oh my goodness - a 30CM FIBROID?? That's mahoosive - you poor thing. I think the one thing which is putting me off the UAE is not knowing whether it will be successful or not, and the fact that I will have to undergo a separate procedure on a different day before the UAE to have my Mirena removed under general anaesthetic as the fibroid has shoved it out of position and it can't be whipped out of my cervix.

I'm just so fed up with the whole periods and feeling bloated and crap - although I was dead set against hysterectomy at the outset the more I think about it, the more appealing it becomes. And it guarantees no more fibroids and no more periods.

RunnyRattata Thu 22-Sep-16 07:37:06

If you're having a GA I'd ask for an epidural/spinal with sedation. I've had GA and the epi/sed combo and the combo was a million times better. If you don't want more kids, I'd be tempted to go for the hysterectomy except you are young to risk an early menopause. Also it's been my experience that orgasm changes. If your womb is involved, it's bound to really.sad It's ok though.

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