By Kate Madden Yee, AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 5, 2013

Sunday, December 1 | 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. | LL-GUS-SU1A | Lakeside Learning Center
Patients say that outpatient uterine artery embolization (UAE) for fibroids is a viable alternative to inpatient procedures, according to Canadian research to be presented during this Sunday poster session.

For the study, Dr. Sriharsha Athreya, of McMaster University, and colleagues included 12 patients who had undergone UAE for symptomatic fibroids between January 2012 and February 2013. Each patient filled out a questionnaire that evaluated pain from the procedure using a visual analog scale from 0 to 10 during UAE, through recovery, and during the night of discharge, with higher scores indicating more pain. At each woman's two-week follow-up appointment, the researchers assessed her preferences regarding UAE.

The mean pain score was 3.5 during the procedure, 6.9 during recovery, and 6.7 during the night of discharge, Athreya's group found. None of the women stayed overnight in the hospital. At the two-week follow-up, all of the patients said they preferred UAE to surgery, and 91.7% preferred outpatient over inpatient UAE. More than a third of survey participants recommended increased pain control, 16.7% recommended increased gastrointestinal (GI) symptom control, and 8.3% recommended more postdischarge counseling.

The study results suggest that with increased pain and GI symptom control and patient education, outpatient UAE is a viable alternative to surgery and has the potential to reduce healthcare costs, according to Athreya's group.