To Treat Fibroids, Intraventional Radiology Offers New Hope
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31 October 2010
By Majid Jahangir
Doctors say removal of uterus in young women leads to weak bones
EVEN though a non–surgical treatment is available in the country for the tumour of uterus called fibroids, few women under take this procedure due to lack of awareness. Doctors say that a majority of the women suffering from fibroids normally go under the knife to remove the organ.
According to estimates, 50 per cent of the Indian women have fibroids in their uterus, which are noncancerous (benign) growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus.
"While fibroids do not always cause symptoms, their size and location can lead to problems for some women, including pain in passing urine and heavy bleeding," head of radiology department, Kovai Medical Center and Hospital, Coimbatore and the President of the Indian Society of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Dr Mathew Cherian said.
"Normally the surgery that is offered is hysterectomy, which is the surgical removal of the uterus."
Cherian, who had been also the Medical advisor for Boston–Scientific and Johnson and Johnson, USA, said if the uterus was removed in young women, their bones become weak.
But now, he said, that a fundamentally new approach of interventional radiology is used for treatment of fibroids without having to resort to surgery thus saving precious lives with reduced hospital stay and minimal complications.
"The interventional radiologist makes a small pin hole and the blood supply to the fibroid is blocked though imaging. This cures the condition," Cherian said, adding that in this procedure the uterus is not removed and the patient can go to work after two days.
He said that though they have been doing this procedure from some time, but there was lack of awareness on part of women suffering from the fibroids.
"In every part of the country very few women are aware about the non surgical procedure," said Cherian.
"The results of studies that have been published or presented at scientific meetings report that 78 per cent to 94 per cent of women who have the procedure experience significant or total relief of pain and other symptoms, with the large majority of patients considerably improved. The procedure has been successful even when multiple fibroids are involved. Most patients have rated the procedure as `very tolerable'."
In fact, the trend of women with fibroid not turning up non surgical treatment is evident even at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
"Though we have been doing such kind of procedures, but very few women come for treatment," said Dr Naveen Kalra from PGI, adding: "We need to create more awareness about the treatment."