New technology to speed up fibroid surgery

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pretoria – A new technology has been introduced at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Johannesburg to treat women suffering from uterine fibroids.

The hospital will now use High Intensity Frequency Ultrasound (HIFU) to treat multi fibroid conditions. The technology was launched at Bara by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu on Tuesday.

It’s the first time this technology will be used in Africa and it is not yet available in the private sector.

Bara, which is the third largest hospital in the world, conducts about two surgery cases a day using the conventional method. HIFU will boost the hospital’s capacity, enabling it to conduct a minimum of 25 surgeries a week, including conventional surgical interventions.

Fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. Also called leiomyomas or myomas, uterine fibroids are not associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer. However, fibroids are complicated by abnormal bleeding, pain and the pressure effects on the surrounding organs.

The provincial department’s spokesperson, Steve Mabona, said the department is excited about the introduction of this technology, which will drastically improve the quality of life for fibroid sufferers.

“We think this will alleviate pain endured by the patients,” said Mabona.

The use of HIFU will remarkably reduce the time patients spend in surgery, as there is no cutting or blood loss. Patients will also be discharged on the same day.

“The intention is to roll out this machine to the other academic hospital (in the province). The next hospital to benefit from this machine will be Dr George Mukhari Hospital (in Pretoria),” said Mabona. -