Discharge Instructions for Uterine Fibroid Embolization

You just had a uterine fibroid embolization. This is also called a uterine artery embolization. Uterine fibroids are tumors that are not cancerous (benign). Uterine fibroid embolization stops the blood supply to the tumor without surgery. This treatment causes the fibroids to shrink. To do this, a doctor injects small bits of plastic into the blood vessel that brings blood to the fibroid tumor. These pieces of plastic build up in the artery and block the blood supply. During this procedure, your doctor makes a cut (incision) in your groin. A thin tube called a catheter is put through a blood vessel in your leg that runs to your uterus. Here’s what to do at home after this procedure.

Activity level

  • Limit your activity for 2 days after the procedure.

  • Ask a friend or family member to stay with you as you rest in bed or on the couch.

  • Slowly increase your activities during the week after the procedure.

  • Don’t drive for 24 hours.

  • Don’t climb stairs for 2 days after the procedure.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 1 week after the procedure.

  • Don’t bend at the waist for 2 days.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when you can go back to work.

Other home care

  • Don’t be alarmed by vaginal discharge that is grayish or brown in color. This is from the breakdown of the fibroid tumor. It is normal.

  • Expect your next 2 or 3 periods to be heavier than normal.

  • Take your medicines as directed. Don’t skip doses.

  • Unless otherwise directed, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. This helps to prevent dehydration. It also helps flush your body of the dye that was used during the procedure.

  • Take your temperature and check your incision site every day for a week. Look for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or warmth.  Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when it is safe to swim or take a bath.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider, or as directed.

When to seek medical care

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Constant or increasing pain or numbness in your leg

  • Severe or worsening abdominal pain

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or warmth at the incision site

  • Shortness of breath

  • A leg that feels cold or looks blue

  • Blood in your urine

  • Black or tarry stools