A uterus with both uterine and intrauterine fibroids.

Centre to Introduce Ultrasound Machine For Fibroid Treatment

In a bid to improve access to effective treatment of Uterine Fibroids in the country, the Nordica Fibroid Care Centre has moved to introduce the High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) machine in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

HIFU is a non-invasive way to treat uterine fibroids using real-time ultrasound and high-intensity ultrasound waves to generate localised heat to specifically target individual fibroids to destroy the cells without affecting other sensitive tissues or organs in the surrounding area

Speaking at the Nordica Fibroid Care Centre Special Fibroid forum in Abuja, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nordica, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, said that uterine fibroid also known as leiomyomas is a non-cancerous tumour that grows in and around the uterus that has been a major public health challenge that affects women around the world, particularly black women.

He explained that fibroids present with symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding, severe menstrual cramps, urinary frequency, bloating, back pain and recurrent miscarriages.

Ajayi noted that before the introduction of HIFU, patients suffering from uterine fibroids had three options, ranging from hormonal therapy, which entails taking low-dose birth control pills to manage symptoms, hysteroscopy (inserting a hysteroscope into the vagina to remove the fibroids), and laparoscopic myomectomy, which requires inserting a surgical instrument through the navel to remove the tumour.

He observed that in some instances, patients also opt for complete removal of their uterus, especially when they no longer wish to conceive or when they may have attained their menopausal stage.

Ajayi noted that the deployment of HIFU in treating fibroids in the Lagos Centre has been successful, with 475 patients treated in Lagos, adding that patients in Abuja will start accessing treatment from July 1, 2024.

He said: “While all the highlighted options involve different types of incisions or cutting of the patient, the HIFU method of treating uterine fibroids does not require any cutting, as it is completely non-invasive and blood-free.”

Earlier, Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist at Nordica’s Abuja Centre, Dr John Bakut, noted that fibroid is not a death sentence.

Bakut, the medical personnel overseeing the HIFU treatment at Nordica’s centre in Abuja said the HIFU technology allows treatments to be carried out within two hours, thus guaranteeing a quick recovery time for patients, unlike other treatment options.

He said: “HIFU is safer than any other method of removing fibroid and the patient has a short recovery period and can go back to work after two days, unlike other procedures. Skin toxicity may occur but there are safety checks.”

At the event, a 44-year-old, Ms MaryAnne Dangal, said that she had fibroids and adenomyosis for 18 years, and experienced debilitating pain and heavy bleeding during each menstrual period.

She stated that her problem became a thing of the past in 2023 after undergoing a HIFU procedure in Lagos.

SOURCE: The Guardian