By mid-February, a city hospital will be equipped with a procedure that uses ultrasound waves to remove fibroids.
The non-invasive procedure will rule out surgery and hospitalisation of patients seeking a cure for fibroids, which are non-cancerous growths that usually develop in or around women’s uterus, said Dr Shrinivas Desai, director of department radiology at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, which is in the process of installing the equipment.
The new procedure could also help avoid removal of uterus in extreme cases of fibroids.
The new technique called Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery uses high-intensity focused ultrasound waves to destroy tumor tissues. It is used in combination with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) that guides, monitors and controls the treatment.
“The aim of the technique is to raise the temperature of the tumor tissues to the point where they cannot survive. The procedure takes 30 minutes to two hours depending on the size of the tumor,” said Dr Desai.
Once the tumor is dead, the body removes it over a period of one to six months depending on its size.
Dr Rishma Dhillon Pai, consultant gynaecologist with Jaslok, said as many as 30 per cent of women especially those in the childbearing age develop fibroids.
“In most cases, these tumors do not show any major symptoms. However, when they grow inside the uterus they can lead to infertility among other complications,” said Dr Pai.
Though new in India, the technique has been used to treat 5,000 patients across the world, said Dr W.M. Gedroye, consultant radiologist at St Mary’s Hospital in London.
Dr Gedroye has treated 500 patients at his hospital. “We are now in process of conducting clinical trials for using the same technique to cure breast and prostrate cancer,” he added.