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Made it through a Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Old 03-06-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
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Made it through a Uterine Fibroid Embolization

What the heck is that?

It's a "high tech" way of treating uterine fibroids. An interventional radiologist uses a catheter to block all the tiny little arteries supplying blood to the fibroids. This "kills" the fibroids causing them to shrink and become inactive.

I put if off as long as I could - fibroids gradually shrink after menopause. But they got too big and I finally had to treat them. I chose this procedure because it was much less invasive than general surgery (hysterectomy) and the recovery time far shorter - 7 days instead of 6 weeks. Uterine Fibroid Embolization has been available for about the last 10 years.

It was a pretty amazing (although painful) experience. Just incredible what radiologists can do nowadays. Didn't go under general anesthesia - some other type of sedation administered by a nurse where I was able to converse occasionally - although great lapses of time occurred between snippets of conversation. At the end they asked me - do you want some pictures? I said YES!

Under observation for 23 hours (considered "day surgery"), then on my way home with plenty of painkillers.

By next thursday (knock on wood) I should be back to normal.

Audrey
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:31 PM   #2
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Wow, sorry to hear it, but glad you are past the surgery. Were there any special issues dueto being a full-timer? Enjoy the happy pills and feel better soon.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:35 PM   #3
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Glad to see you're doing well.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:35 PM   #4
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Were there any special issues due to being a full-timer?
We kept our Austin specialists. I had been diagnosed just before going fulltime, and I thought I had a pretty good chance of not requiring treatment. But just in case, I kept the Austin info, and that's where we went (6 hour drive from "the valley"). The Austin Radiological Association (ARA) has been performing this procedure for about as long as it has been available in TX and now have several experienced radiologists on staff who do it. When I first looked into my options, I expected I would go with ARA if I had to take this step.

I was totally blown away by the professionalism of the entire team.

Audrey
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:44 PM   #5
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Glad it all went well. Isn't Versed/propofol great?
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:52 PM   #6
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Glad it all went well. Isn't Versed/propofol great?
What is that - the sedative? If so, yes, that was really amazing.

I was able to tell them when I became aware of it during the procedure, where I felt cramping (which indicated things were "working").

Otherwise I was on some kind of self-administered drip thingy (wasn't morphine but something close) for about 18 hours and then 800mg ibuprofen and vicodin as needed.

I didn't catch the name of everything I was administered. I should have made DH write it all down, like he did with the contrast dyes for the MRI.

Audrey
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:52 PM   #7
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. Uterine Fibroid Embolization has been available for about the last 10 years.
Audrey
It sure would have been nice if it was available 20 years ago.

Take good care of yourself....
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:54 PM   #8
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What is that - the sedative?

Otherwise I was on some kind of self-administered thingy (wasn't morphine but something close) for about 18 hours and then 800mg ibuprofen and vicodin as needed.
Audrey
Yes, the sedation often used for "minor" procedures. Versed is commonly used for colonoscopy - that's when I first became acquainted with it back around age 50. Many, including me, consider its effects to be rather pleasant.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:01 PM   #9
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Yes they told me that it would be the same as used in a colonoscopy. Most of the procedure I was unaware, but the few times where I had a conversation, I remember as clear as a bell. A couple of times I felt moved to give the radiologist "feedback" about where I was feeling cramping. I think she was amused - but still it was valuable feedback.

The funny thing is, the first time I said something, they told me they were almost done on one side, and the next, they were finishing up completely (which is when they asked me if I wanted pictures). I have no awareness of the elapsed time in between. I was awake when I was wheeled out.

Audrey
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:19 PM   #10
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No doubt, the best part of a colonoscopy. I always ask for some to take home.

I'm glad you're OK Audrey
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:12 PM   #11
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Glad to hear that all went well - thanks for sharing
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:16 AM   #12
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Get lots of rest and hope you're feeling better soon.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:47 AM   #13
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Isn't it great to have these kinds of options available instead of a full blown surgery with lengthy recovery times? Another procedure that leaves me very grateful that it is available is cardiac catheterization and stents(if needed). Just amazing how they can do that and spare one getting one's chest sawed open.

Glad you are doing well in your recuperation, Audrey, and thanks for sharing for the benefit of all.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:06 AM   #14
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Glad it all went well. Isn't Versed/propofol great?
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No doubt, the best part of a colonoscopy. I always ask for some to take home.
Was that mentioned in all that noise about Michael Jackson?
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:08 AM   #15
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Glad you did so well ! I actually worked in Interventional Radiology for over ten years so I'm familiar with the procedure . It is amazing what the Radiologists can do .
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:28 AM   #16
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Glad you did so well ! I actually worked in Interventional Radiology for over ten years so I'm familiar with the procedure . It is amazing what the Radiologists can do .
Yes, it really is amazing. I would rather not have any kind of procedure, but if you need one, why not a particularly cool one? That's what really prompted me to post. I't neat to know you worked in that field.

Thanks for all the well wishes folks!

I'm still pretty sore. Very tender in the abdominal area and my GI tract is all messed up and complaining. Between the antibiotics and high doses of Ibuprofen, it'll take a little while to get things working right again.

Audrey
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:46 AM   #17
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Thanks for telling your story, Audrey. Best wishes.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:32 PM   #18
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Hi Audrey,
I am a fellow fibroid sufferer, or I guess I should say a fellow former fibroid sufferer since we've both had successful treatments. I wonder if you are familiar with hystersisters? I found it really useful when investigating alternatives to hysterectomy. Contrary to what it might sound like from the name, the board isn't just for people who have had or definitely will have a hysterectomy. There is a whole section of the board devoted to other treatments for the varying conditions which may lead to surgery, and I think other women with fibroids would be helped if you told your story there too.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:40 PM   #19
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Yes, thanks. Actually I spent quite a bit of time there many years ago when I was first investigating my options.

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Old 03-07-2010, 12:42 PM   #20
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Fibroids are extremely common:
Are Uterine Fibroids the Norm? - Women's Health
But most of them don't cause any symptoms.
Good job Audrey!
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