Best treatment for fibroids available

04th October 2017
Uterine Artery Embolization Procedure Source:The Midweek Sun

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By Rachel Raditsebe -


For years Gorata Moabi (34) wondered why it felt like her body was turning against her. The primary school teacher was in constant pain, suffering from heavy periods and bloating. She says it felt like there was a constant weight inside of her. “It’s not a good feeling as a woman thinking there are parts of you that don’t work the way you want them to work. Avoiding it is not going to make it go away,” she said. Moabi has fibroids.

While some women do not experience symptoms, others like Moabi suffer through debilitating pain. “It starts to feel a little different down there, like I felt heavy and bloated most of the time”. Surgery is usually the option for treatment. But a less invasive treatment is now available at Bokamoso Private Hospital. Uterine fibroid embolisation (UFE) is a relatively new treatment in Southern Africa but it is very well established overseas, according to Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist at Fibroid Care, Dr Andrew Lawson.

“Large numbers of women’s lives are affected by uterine fibroids, but few are aware that they now have UFE available as a treatment option. This is particularly true for women who have been advised to have a hysterectomy for fibroid disease,” he said. Uterine fibroids are growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. Dr Lawson said these growths are benign, or not cancerous, and develop in 20 percent to 40 percent of women aged 35 and older. Uterine fibroids are the most frequent cause of hysterectomy in pre-menopausal women and are therefore a major public health issue. UFE,he explained, is a less risky procedure with less pain and a shorter recovery time compared to open surgery. “No anaesthesia is needed. The procedure takes 30mins, no operating and only one night in hospital.

Patients are discharged the following day often fit to drive,” he said. Dr Lawson said the treatment is performed with a small nick made in the wrist or upper thigh through which a catheter is inserted. Medical-grade material is injected in the catheter. The spheres block the fibroids’ blood flow, which essentially kills the fibroids. “On average, almost 90 percent of women who have had the procedure experience significant or total relief from heavy bleeding, pain and bulk-related symptoms,” he said. Most medical aids cover the entire cost of the procedure.




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