Pain and return to daily activities after uterine artery embolization and hysterectomy in the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids: results from the randomized EMMY trial

Wouter J K Hehenkamp, Nicole A Volkers, Erwin Birnie, Jim A Reekers, Willem M Ankum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of uterine artery embolization (UAE) and hysterectomy for symptomatic uterine fibroids by means of a randomized controlled trial. The present paper analyses short-term outcomes, i.e., pain and return to daily activities.

METHODS: Patients were randomized (1:1) to UAE or hysterectomy. Pain was assessed during admission and after discharge, both quantitatively and qualitatively, using a numerical rating scale and questionnaires. Time to return to daily activities was assessed by questionnaire.

RESULTS: Seventy-five patients underwent hysterectomy and 81 patients underwent UAE. UAE patients experienced significantly less pain during the first 24 hr after treatment (p = 0.012). Non-white patients had significantly higher pain scores. UAE patients returned significantly sooner to daily activities than hysterectomy patients (for paid work: 28.1 versus 63.4 days; p < 0.001). In conclusion, pain appears to be less after UAE during hospital stay. Return to several daily activities was in favor of UAE in comparison with hysterectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-87
Number of pages9
JournalCardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Cite this