How HIFU helps in fibroid treatment — Expert | Dailytrust

How HIFU helps in fibroid treatment — Expert

Utilizing High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for fibroid treatment has a lot of benefits, a fertility expert and managing director of a fibroid care centre has said.

Speaking during an interview with Daily Trust, the expert said it is a treatment option that saves patients from complications associated with surgery and other methods.

Dr Ajayi, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Nordica Fertility Centre, said the centre has successfully treated over 110 cases of uterine fibroids ad adenomyosis using HIFU technology in less than a year.

He said the advantages of using HIFU are enormous, adding that the selling point of the technology is  that people can walk in and walk out for treatment, do not lose blood at all and the fact that it also treats adenomyosis.

He said HIFU technology kills fibroid by coagulating the necrosis.

He said, “Coagulation means heat then necrosis means death. So the heat causes the death of the cells that is the way we treat fibroid with HIFU.

“It focuses the ultrasound at a particular distance and that focus becomes heated up until the temperature is over 60 degrees centigrade, and it just denatures the protein, and kills it slice by slice until it kills the whole fibroid.

“The distance between where the ultra sound is being emitted from and where it is going to take effect is about 12 – 14cm and the distance is important. So that is the principle of the HIFU.”

However, the expert said there is need to pick the patients that can benefit from HIFU, because just like other methods of treatment such as surgery, it is not everyone that can benefit from the technology.

“Even surgery is not for every person, that is why issues like fibroid returning after one year or two years occurs.

“Also, a good number of deaths that occur after surgery   are because the patient should not have been opened up in the first place.

“Other methods should have been used and sometimes it may even be adenomyosis and not even fibroid. Adenomyosis looks like fibroid when you look at it, even with scan,” he explained.

He said the difference is that adenomyosis is actually blood; bleeding into the muscle of the uterus, and unlike fibroid which is like a capsule, when the doctor puts his knife adenomyosis it just cuts through.

He said some things that are considered before HIFU is done include if the layer of fat in the tummy is more than 6cm, adding that if it is up to 12cm that means you have already wasted the distance that is needed for the procedure.

“We do what we call simulation to see if we can get distance.

“But if the fibroid is at the back of the uterus and more than 6cm, like 8cm, we might not be able to do it, that is why we say relative contra-indication. We need to be careful, we need to see if this patient will benefit from it,” Dr Ajayi said.

He said other considerations are previous surgeries, for instance, to see if the intestine has moved to the back of the scar.

“Because we don’t want to burn anyone’s intestines. We try to do simulation to see that the intestine is not on the way or displacement of the anatomy before we go ahead,” he also said.

He said another consideration is people who cannot communicate, adding that since heat is involved, there is need for communication to know when it is too hot to avoid burning nerves and skin among others.

He added that it cannot be used for women with cancer such as cancer of the uterus and cervix.

 

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