How can you care for yourself at home?
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. Each person recovers at a different speed.
You had local anesthesia (a shot to numb the area where the catheter was inserted). You may feel some pain and discomfort as it wears off.
You may have gotten a sedative to help you relax and pain medication to ease pain. It is usually given in a vein (by IV). Common side effects from sedation include:
- Feeling sleepy – your doctors and nurses will make sure you are not too sleepy to go home.
- Nausea and vomiting – this usually does not last long. It can be treated with over-the-counter medication. Read and follow all instructions on label.
If you received sedation, for the next 24 hours please AVOID:
- Alcoholic beverages;
- Making important personal, business, and legal decisions;
- Driving, operating heavy machinery, or doing anything that requires coordination and balance.
Recovering from a prostate artery embolization
Common side effects include:
- Pain or burning during urination. This is from inflammation in the prostate caused by the blocked arteries. If severe, your doctor may prescribe a medication to help lessen the pain.
- A small amount of blood in your urine in the days or weeks following the procedure. This will get better with time. If the amount of blood seems to be increasing, notify your doctor.
- Flu-like symptoms. You may feel tired, have nausea, poor appetite, a low grade fever (less than 101.5̊F), vague pelvic pain, night sweats and/or chills when you go home. Most of these symptoms should improve after 4 to 5 days.
- In rare circumstances, inflammation in the prostate will make it hard to urinate. The doctor will need to place a urinary catheter to help with urination. In these rare circumstances, you will go home with the urinary catheter. Your doctor will arrange a follow up visit in 1 week with your urologist to remove the catheter.
- You can eat and drink fluids as tolerated. Start will clear liquids and work up to solid foods. Drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Extra fluids will help flush the contrast dye from your body.
- Do not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds for the first 3 days after the procedure.
- Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for 2 weeks.
- Limit climbing stairs today and tomorrow if the puncture site was in your groin.
- Rest when you feel tired, especially for the first 48 hours. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
- You can go back to normal activities as you feel up to it. Start slowly and listen to your body, do not overdo it. Most people are ready to return to work 5 to 7 days after the procedure if not sooner.
- You can drive 2 days after the procedure if you are not taking any narcotics.
- You can shower 24 hours after your procedure.
Caring for the puncture site
- You may have a small amount of bruising at the puncture site (where the catheter entered your skin). This is normal and should go away over the next several days.
- Remove the bandage after 24 hours.
- Gently clean the puncture site and the skin around it with soap and water. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol which may slow healing.
- Gently pat the puncture site dry. Apply new gauze and tape or a Band-Aid.
- Change the bandage and clean the puncture site every day until it has healed completely (usually 2-3 days).
- Do not use any lotion or powder near the puncture site.
- Do not take a bath or swim until it has healed completely.
- There should be no or very minimal bleeding from the puncture site.
- If bleeding is noticed, lie down (if you had a groin puncture) and apply direct pressure to the area for 20 minutes. Notify the Interventional Radiologist immediately.
See the medications below that can be taken at home. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. If you are diabetic and taking glucophage (Metformin), do NOT take for 2 days after the procedure. If you have been prescribed any new medications see the attached “Medication List” section of the After Visit Summary.
Mild pain and/or low grade fever (pain score 1-4; fever less than 101.5̊ F)
- If you have pain, don’t be afraid to say so. Pain medicine works better if you take it before the pain gets bad.
- You can take over-the-counter (OTC) medication such as ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for mild pain and/or low grade fever.
- Take ibuprofen and naproxen with food as they may upset your stomach.
- If you have a fever over 101.5̊ F that does not go down with medication, please contact your Interventional Radiologist and Oncologist.
Follow up care
- If you are sent home with a urinary catheter, your doctor will arrange a follow up visit with your urologist to remove the catheter in 1-2 weeks.
- Make a follow-up appointment with Interventional Radiology 4 weeks after your procedure date.
- Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It is also a good idea to know your test results and keep an up-to-date list of the medications you take.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You pass out or lose consciousness.
- You have uncontrolled bleeding from the puncture site.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have severe pain not relieved by medication.
- Blood has soaked through the bandage.
- You have numbness, tingling or difficulty moving your hand (if you had a radial or wrist puncture).
- You are unable to urinate (and do not have a urinary catheter in place).
- You see a lot of blood in your urine.
- You see any blood in your stool.
- You have signs of infection such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around the puncture site.
- Pus draining or red streaks leading from the puncture site.
- A fever greater than 101.5̊ F that does not go down with over-the-counter medications lasting longer than 24 hours, chills, or body aches.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You do not get better as expected.