Health & Medicine

Friday, 24 August 2018 13:22

Innovative & effective radiology treatment for Uterine Fibroids now available in South Africa

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Innovative & effective radiology treatment for Uterine Fibroids now available in South Africa

The Fibroids Treatment that offers an alternative to surgical treatment of fibroids

A minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of symptomatic fibroids is available in South Africa through the Fibroid Care initiative. The treatment is only offered in select parts of the region and is still relatively new in the country. Fibroids are non-cancerous growths of the uterus that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pain in the pelvis and may even impact fertility.

Fibroids, which often develop on the uterus wall, are generally treated through surgical means. A myomectomy involves the surgical removal of the fibroid or fibroids in the uterus and often the fibroids will reoccur. A hysterectomy is the more intensive option and results in complete removal of the womb. This option makes it impossible for a woman to have children and for this reason it is avoided by younger women. The radical nature of surgery has caused many women to abandon hope of treating their fibroids at all. With fibroid embolisation however, total relief of symptoms is possible. The fibroids are also unlikely to come back.

The size and frequency of the fibroids as well as the severity of symptoms are key aspects when determining the most appropriate treatment option. Fibroid Embolisation is suitable in most cases and alleviates troublesome symptoms such as urinary incontinence, back pain, abdominal bloating and constipation.

Though the treatment is relatively new in Southern Africa, in developed countries such as the United Kingdom, fibroid embolisation treatment is offered through the governmental health plan in appropriate cases.  Most leading medical aid schemes in South Africa now partially or fully fund fibroid embolisation. Health insurance companies are starting to acknowledge the procedure as effective in terms of cost and the patient’s health.

This fibroids treatment is conducted by medical specialists who have been trained in the specialisation of minimally invasive procedures. The procedure also requires the use of advanced equipment and is therefore only conducted in select facilities. The patient remains conscious during the procedure though a light sedation is administered to prevent any pain to the area of incision. Fibroid embolisation is generally conducted on an out-patient basis, with a short hospitalisation period and a quick recovery time. The use of tiny inactive particles to block the artery supplying nourishment to the fibroid effectively shrinks the growth and alleviates symptoms.

Treating fibroids with fibroids embolisation there are fewer complications when compared to open surgery and in the unlikely case of an infection, antibiotics can be safely utilised to combat the infection. Through FibroidCare, women suffering from fibroids have the opportunity to treat their condition easily. FibroidCare is headed by Dr Andrew Lawson.

More about Dr Andrew Lawson:

Dr Andrew Lawson is a Specialist Diagnostic & Interventional Radiologist who currently heads the FibroidCare initiative in Southern Africa. Fibroid Care operates in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania.

Dr Lawson received his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. He specialised in went Radiology at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. He was trained in Fibroid Embolisation while at the Royal Surrey Hospital in England. During his time in Australia, Dr Lawson gained further experience in diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

For more information:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +27 (0)79 810 942

Published in Health and Medicine

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