New treatment ends fibroid misery

August 5, 2010 3:32:57 PM PDT
Fibroids can be miserable for any women: incessant menstrual bleeding, pain, and urinary problems. Some women choose to have a hysterectomy to solve the problem. But now, doctors are studying a new treatment that will remove their fibroids without resorting to surgery.

For several years, Radio Frequency Ablation has been treating cancerous tumors in the liver.

Now, doctors at Montefiore Medical Center are studying its possible effectiveness in treating fibroids.

The treatment uses electrical energy to destroy the fibroid tissue.

Fibroids can appear inside the uterine wall, outside the wall, or completely outside the uterus. The sizes, shapes and locations can vary greatly.

Rachel Studdard has had fibroids for years and was treated with a hysterectomy.

"The experience was a bit painful, I was in the hospital for about a week, during that time I had a complication and the recovery was pretty painful. It took me about 8 weeks to recover fully," says Studdard.

Her daughter, Debra Green, has also suffered from fibroids for 20 years and decided to participate in the Radio Frequency Ablation study.

"I just want to be free. I want to be free of the pain, I want to be free of the seven day periods, I want to be free of the heavy menstruation. I just want to feel normal for the first time in 20 years," says green.

During the procedure, the patient is put under anesthesia. Then, with camera and scope through the abdomen, each tumor is heated up to a high level so that the cells are burn and die.

Eventually, they are re-absorbed by the body. Doctors say it could take 6 months before seeing the full effect.