Uterine artery embolization (UAE) is usually a very painful procedure. Although pain after the procedure can occur as a single symptom, it usually is associated with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pelvic pain, general malaise, fever and leukocytosis that characterize the post-embolization syndrome. Management of the post-embolization symptoms and of pain in particular, is paramount if UAE is to be performed as an outpatient procedure. Different protocols have used analgesic and/or anti-inflammatory agents to control these symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used in association with analgesic drugs to control post-embolization symptoms. In our institution the patients start oral medication with NSAIDs the day before the procedure and continue it during and after UAE. We also mix NSAIDs with the embolizing particles. This enables a reduction in the inflammation present in the uterine fibroids and helps controlling the pain. The purpose of this paper is to review the importance of NSAIDs in the management of the post-embolization symptoms. We describe the protocol that we use in our institution that enables us to perform the procedure on an outpatient basis with same day discharge and good control of the post-embolization symptoms with oral NSAIDs and analgesics.
- Journal Article