I have a long, ugly history with fibroids, one treated with a myomectomy, but this last one I was denied that option (military hospital). The initial gyn presented a number of options, I chose UAE (with an apparently ineffective Mirena left in situ) as the least invasive for a submucosal fibroid. (I wasn't quite sold on hysterectomy, yet.) Surgery in January uneventful; follow-up MRI showed a slightly enlarged, infarcted fibroid, however, I never fully recovered. Extreme fatigue, increasing joint pain, constant feeling of pain & pressure in the uterus/ bladder, cold extremities even in warm rooms, bloody, oderous and sometimes tissue-laden discharge were constant symptoms. I was tested by my Primary care doc for everything from thyroid issues to heart problems but no one found any reason for my complaints (I was told on more than one occasion to cheer up, that the symptoms were part of aging, part of motherhood, or just in my head.)
6 months on, the discharge became severe, no fever, but I started passing large grey masses. The IR surgeon had me go to a gyn, who diagnosed a necrotic fibroid and septicemia, necessitating Mirena removal, a D&C and IV antibiotics. At follow-up, I was told there was still some fibroid left behind; the surgeon said he wanted to perform a hysterectomy, the gyn refused because he simply didn't see the need. I requested a second opinion.
This new doc actually looked over my records, including the past year's many blood tests and noted raised white counts, borderline anemia, and some other indicators that I was suffering a foreign body reaction, she believes from the pellets used in the UAE. She said these are peripheral symptoms that aren't discussed as a side effect of the treatment because they are considered too vague, especially once the procedure itself is considered successful,. She also said I should never have been given the option for UAE because of the size of the fibroid, and said I might feel better in a few days or it could take years; she presented me with the choice to ride it out or undergo a radical abdominal hysterectomy (She feels there is too much damage and the pellets will interfere with cauterization, etc.). I chose hysterectomy, as I've already lost a year of my life to this bloody fibroid and at this point, I'm simply tired.
My question is: how common is this foreign body reaction with UAE and is there a reason docs don't hint at it when suggesting this procedure? I was vaguely aware that necrosis and expulsion were possibilities (occurring in less that 1% of patients from my poring over medical journals), but was shocked to learn that the peripheral symptoms I have are commonly noted in her practice. Most women simply power through them or live their lives in quiet desperation.
I wish now I had had the hysterectomy back in November last year, rather than go through multiple surgeries, needless testing, and being treated as if I were just another whiney housewife. If you've plowed through this, thank you for reading. I am terrified of this next surgery as I've been through enough already and I know that hysterectomy is going to come with it's own set of issues but at this point, I just want relief from the pain.
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