Our Process: Step 4 - UFE Procedure, What to Expect

  • A few days before your procedure you will receive a call from one of the Radiology nurses who will answer any questions you have and will call in a prescription for a scopolamine (motion sickness) patch. Please apply the patch to the skin behind your ear, before going to bed the night before the procedure. This will greatly help limit nausea following the procedure. The patch is effective for 72 hours.
  • Take nothing by mouth after midnight the evening before the procedure, except that you may take your morning medications with small sips of water.
  • Please arrive at Patient Registration 2 hours prior to your scheduled procedure time so you can be registered and prepped for the procedure.
  • Once registered, the nurses preparing you for the procedure will insert an IV to give you fluids and a dose of antibiotics. A Foley catheter will be inserted into your bladder and will need to stay in for 8-10 hours following the procedure.
  • Once you are ready for your procedure your Interventional Radiologist will see you and answer any last minute questions.
  • You are then brought to the Radiology Department Special Procedures Suite where you will be connected to monitoring equipment, your groin areas will be shaved and washed, and you will be covered with sterile drapes.
  • You will receive IV medications for conscious sedation, including a sedative (versed) and a pain killer (fentanyl). You will also receive a dose of toradol, an NSAID (like motrin) that will help reduce post procedure cramping.
  • Your groin area will be numbed with lidocaine, a local anesthetic, a small skin nick will be made, and an introducer sheath will be advanced into the femoral artery. Once inserted, you will feel virtually nothing during the procedure. You will be sleepy, and may actually sleep, throughout the procedure. The procedure takes 60-90 minutes in most cases.
  • Prior to leaving the Special Procedures suite the catheter in the femoral artery will be removed and manual compression will be applied for 15-20 minutes to allow a good clot to form over the small hole. In many cases the Star-Close exravascular clip device will be applied as the catheter is removed. A morphine PCA (patient controlled analgesia) pump will be connected to your IV allowing you to self administer a dose of narcotic pain killer by pushing a button.
  • You will then be taken to your room for overnight observation. If only manual compression was applied it will be necessary to lie flat for two hours, then your head can be elevated 30 degrees for four more hours. If the Star-Close clip is used, and is successful, you may sit upright immediately but will still be at bedrest for at least six hours. After that you will be able get out of bed, if desired.
  • The first 6-10 hours after UFE can be fairly difficult, with heavy pelvic cramping. The cramping is caused by acute degeneration of the fibroid(s). The PCA pump helps control the pain but it may not be completely eliminated. Some develop nausea and vomiting and effective medications are available. By the next morning you will feel much better and be ready for discharge home.
  • You will receive a detailed Discharge Instruction Sheet about what to watch for and you will receive prescriptions for pain medications. You will need someone to drive you home.
  • The first 2-3 days can sometimes be difficult, with intermittent pain and fatigue. If you have small children you should arrange to have someone help you for the first few days. You will recover quickly and most are back to usual activities in 7-10 days.

Next, Step 5: Post-Procedure Follow-up.

1 Initial Consultation | 2 Pre-Procedure Testing | 3 Insurance Pre-Authorization |
4 UFE Procedure | 5 Post-Procedure Follow-up |

Pre-Procedure Instructions | Discharge Instructions