By Royal Ibeh, Lagos
A new technology called the High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), a non-invasive therapy that uses intense heat to destroy tissue, has been certified safe for the treatment of fibroid and adenomyosis in women.
Experts at an international virtual event, organised by the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), ESGE Working Group on Non-Surgical Ablative Therapy of Benign Uterine Disease, International Society of Minimally Invasive and Virtual Surgery, and the Physicians Roundtable, said fibroid and adenomyosis have made life unbearable for women of reproductive age group.
Based on several studies, they concluded that the best treatment option for these conditions was HIFU, as it involves no surgery, no incision and no risks of bleeding, among other benefits.
The managing director, Private Institute for Endocrinology Reproductive and Preventive Medicine, Germany, Prof. Hugo Verhoeven, said HIFU is non-surgical procedure in that the transducer of the HIFU therapeutic system converts electric energy into accoustic energy.
Verhoeven said HIFU ablation involves no surgery, no incision, shorter hospital stay, no risks of bleeding, no general anaesthesia, minimal or no damage of surrounding tissue, minimal patient discomfort with a hope of future pregnancy.
With HIFU, patients recovered faster, there is improved quality of life after surgery and the cost is significantly less than that of laparoscopic or open myomectomy, says Verhoeven.
He said, there have been record of over 137,766 HIFU treatment of benign uterine disease cases worldwide, adding that since 2019, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), UK developed and published guidance for the treatment of HIFU for fibroids.
Member of HIFU unit, Mutua Terrassa Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, Nuria Pons, said from experience, Ultrasound Guided HIFU (USgHIFU) therapy is an effective and safe treatment for uterine fibroids and adenomyosis, adding that in some cases, USgHIFU could even improve fertility of patients with a history of primary or secondary infertility.
“Patients undergoing USgHIFU treatment of uterine fibroids and adenomyosis can achieve full term pregnancies with few intrapartum or postpartum complications and due to its non-invasive nature, USgHIFU seems to be the first therapeutic option in women with uterine fibroids and gestational desire with many advantages over myomectomy and Uterine Artery Embolization,” she added.
Pons, however, said there was the need for prospective randomised studies to confirm the observations.
In his closing remarks, SOGON president, Dr. Habib Mohammad Sadauki, said fibroid is a major issue in Africa, but it is good to see new technology coming up that will make the lives of women more comfortable, improve quality of life with better pregnancy rates.