Uterine AVM Angiogram done, and excruciatingly painful

Hi everyone

So, I had the angiogram and uterine artery embolisation done on Thursday. It was possibly the most horrendous pain I have ever experienced (and I gave birth to my daughter with no drugs!). It was so bad I had a vasovagal response and passed out. I remember hearing them all desperately trying to lower the head of the bed, and one guy saying “it’s okay, I can feel her pulse”! So scary when you are semi alert. The radiologist said the avm was smaller than he expected (because of the severity of the haemorrhage in November) but that embolising it was difficult and caused a great deal of ischaemia, hence the pain. He said it’s a lot like the pain of a heart attack. I’ve never had one of them, and hope never to if it feels like that.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, they put one of the dissolving closures in, as I was completely unable to lie still, the pain was so excruciating. They eventually managed to give me a morphine pump, and the other lady in my room told me after she was chuckling, as I was pushing it so often, desperate for the relief. She said it reminded her of her first embolisation, but it was nice to have someone there who understood.

So, I have to go back to the obstetrician in a few weeks for another ultrasound, to see if it worked. Then we need to decide if we are brave enough to try for another pregnancy. I am not sure it is worth it, with the amount of follow up we had when the bleed happened, and they terminated that baby. I would be 32 weeks pregnancy now, and wish my little baby was still here.

Can anyone give me any advice on this closure thing? Do I need to not put pressure on it? I read to avoid lifting anything over 10kg for 7 days (there goes picking up my toddler), but I don't really know much else about it. It was the Friday before a long weekend yesterday when I asked to be discharged early enough to avoid the horrible traffic, so I have to wait until Tuesday to ask my radiologist some more questions.

Hey Amanda,

Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. It doesn’t sound like it was the least bit easy for you and I’m glad you had that morphine drip available! Any idea why they had you awake during the embo??? That seems so odd to me. I know some of the brainers are awake during angios…but I don’t think people are typically awake for embo’s. That is really too bad that you had to experience that.

Go check out Steve who had some embo’s this past year where he was semi conscious and said it was terrible pain too. He also had one of those plugs at the groin site and can give you some more info. I don’t think those are very common (I’ve neve had one and have had upwards of 30 angio/embo’s.) I did some research on it back when he first got it, but now I can’t find the info I had. He will definately be the best person to ask. And I think the “don’t lift anything” is typical for all of us, plug or no plug. They don’t want to risk the wound opening, which is totally understandable.

I hope you are feeling alright despite the experience. And I’m sorry I told you it would be so easy when it obviously wasn’t. Just didn’t anticipate they would keep you awake!!! It’s a very good thing you had that other patient to talk with. I’m sure that was helpful.

Get some rest and def ck in with Steve!