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Monday, January 18, 2010

Fibroids / Fibroadenomas disappear!

Most women have issues with fibroids. Mainly brought into the light when fertility issues crop up, fibroids can range from small inconvieniences to large 3kg masses obstructing everything in its wake!

Up until recently, the naughty fibroids were meant to be removed and the only way to do this was surgery. In places like our teaching hospitals and rural set-ups, this became an excuse to carry out surgery to "teach" and "learn". In older women, the decision was easier, albeit drastic. Remove the entire uterus along with the tubes and ovaries. So much so, that most women in some villages I know, even went forth for hysterectomies just to get rid of the uterus which was shown to them to be problem centres by people unknown.

Uterine artery embolization was introduced in the United States in 1997 and was one of the first nonsurgical treatments for fibroids. The procedure involves introducing small pellets into the arteries that feed fibroids to choke off their blood supply. Without blood, most fibroids shrink dramatically within six weeks, but relief from symptoms usually occurs much earlier. Uterine embolization appears to be a good option for women who aren't concerned about preserving fertility and are looking for a minimally invasive treatment for symptoms associated with fibroids.

The non-invasive, outpatient fibroid treatment alternative to hysterectomy, myomectomy and uterine artery embolisation is here. MR-guided focused ultrasound or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. The MRI is used to visualize the tissue, plan the treatment and monitor, in real time, treatment outcome while the high intensity focused ultrasound is used to thermally ablate fibroid tissue.

To me, this is good news. Not just for the fibroids. I would love to experiment with the treatment and try and see if it would work for other growths as well. A very very wise Gynaecologist mentioned to be that if it works for a fibroid in the uterus, it should also work for fibroadenomas in the breast. What a wonder it would be for all women who could get their fibroadenomas treated without a scar mark on the breast!

Isn't it worth a try before getting fibroadenoma surgery? If it doesn't work, you can always go ahead with the surgery as planned! Would you consent to a new experimental treatment provided the doctors assure you it can cause no harm??

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