You may experience a mild to moderate amount of pelvic cramping for approximately 4-6 hours after the procedure. Each patient experiences varying amounts of pain/cramping. However, our goal is to keep the cramping pain at a tolerable level with pain medication and nursing comfort measures.
You are able to control the amount of pain medication you receive by using a patient controlled analgesia pump (PCA pump). This pump delivers narcotic pain medication intravenously (through your IV) only when you push the control button allowing you to adjust the amount of pain medication based on your own, personal comfort level. The PCA pump is specially programmed so that you do no receive too much pain medication.
You may also experience nausea, which is controlled with medication. Typically, mild to moderate pelvic cramping continues intermittently for approximately one week to fourteen days following the procedure. To help keep pain at a tolerable level while recovering at home, you will be instructed on the use of ibuprofen, oral narcotic medications, and nursing comfort measures before leaving the hospital.
After embolization, some patients may experience “post embolization syndrome”. This is a combination of symptoms that occur approximately 3-5 days after embolization. The symptoms occur in response to cutting off the blood supply to the fibroids. This is a normal body reaction to the fibroid tissue dying and inflammation. Symptoms include fatigue, achiness, low-grade fever, and nausea. Many patients describe it as feeling like you have the “flu”. These symptoms usually go away in about 3-5 days. Patients may return to work one week after the procedure. This is an average recovery time; some women require more or less time depending on how they are feeling. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise restrictions are suggested for 1-2 weeks after the procedure.