Deborah Morgan says her cycle was always heavy, but as she got older it just got worse.
“I would go out in public and the first thing I would do is figure out where the bathroom was,” says Morgan.
The bleeding became unbearable. Tests showed she had a small fibroid on the lining of her uterus.
“My lifestyle was horrific. I ended up getting very anemic from the loss, to the point I was getting iron infusions,” says Morgan.
Deborah had a uterine artery embolization, a minimally invasive surgery where the goal is to block the blood to the fibroid.
“We actually starve the fibroids of blood supply and we kill it from the inside. So afterwards there’s a little Band-Aid over the blood vessel we go in and we can do that through the wrist or the groin area and we block off the blood supply and essentially we force the fibroids to die in a natural death,” says Dr. Hong.
Dr. Kelvin Hong is the Director of the Division of Interventional Radiology at Johns Hopkins and says fibroids, which are benign growths, are common in women.
“Our region it has specific relevance. African American women have a higher prevalence and incidents and so therefore the group of women who are affected have at least a racial predominance,” says Dr. Hong.
While treatment options vary, Dr. Hong says across the country there’s still a large number of women who have hysterectomies. Although, that is starting to change.
“There’s a strong movement towards less invasive.”
In the next line of cutting edge technology the new Focused Ultrasound.
It’s a way of killing the fibroid through the outside of the stomach. It’s a non-invasive treatment allowing the patient to stay awake.
“It’s actually in an MRI machine- so what you think of an MRI, it’s exactly that. That’s the instrument that lets us look inside the body. And then there’s an additional device in the couch that you’re lying on top of which will sound the sound waves focused to your fibroids and almost in a targeting fashion like almost like War Games we can target, pinpoint, the fibroid growth and shrink it down,” says Dr. Hong.
Dr. Hong says currently there are various versions and manufacturers pursuing this technology.
Symptoms of fibroids- Click here