COIMBATORE, MARCH 26, 2013: Womens Centre, Coimbatore announced the availability of a breakthrough, non-invasive therapeutic tool for uterine fibroids, a common gynecological condition among women. Women’s Centre, an exclusive women’s health centre is equipped with InSightec Ltd.’s disruptive technological innovation - MR guided Focused Ultrasound technology (MRgFUS) to treat uterine fibroids with high intensity focused ultrasound waves instead of a major surgical operation which requires hospitalization and long recovery time. GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) is a minority shareholder of InSightec Ltd and is a distributor of ExAblate in many countries around the world. The MRgFUS treatment is carried out as an out-patient procedure, has a shorter recovery time and allow women to return to normal daily activities almost the next day.
Fibroids are tumors that grow in uterus. Uterine fibroids are the most common non-cancerous in women of child bearing age. Studies show that 25-30% of women around the world are suffering from this condition while as many as 77% women may have it and may not be aware as they exhibit few or no symptoms. Until recently the most common treatment for symptomatic uterine fibroids was invasive – hysterectomy/surgery while drug therapy provides only short term relief. As a result many patients suffer from symptoms, taking a wait and watch approach.
“Most patients’ opt for treating a uterine fibroid are based on their respective clinician’s knowledge on the same topic. Due to the lack of awareness of better treatment options, many patients undergo hysterectomy- a highly invasive surgical procedure that entails the loss of a reproductive organ, long hospital stay and a longer recovery time,” said Dr. Dr. Mirudhubashini Govindarajan, Clinical Director, Womens Center. “MR guided Focused Ultrasound has lower risk with maximum gain! This technology ablates uterine fibroid tissues without cutting the body or losing a drop of blood and avoids prolonged hospitalization and other costs! It is a blessing for women, who seek a better quality of life without the impediments of losing their reproductive organ thereby preserving their fertility, “she added.
Imagine taking the core of an apple, without cutting it:
InSightec’ s ExAblate system is exclusively compatible with GE Healthcare’s normal and wide bore systems, including Signa HDxt 1.5T, Signa HDxt 3.0T, Optima MR450 & 450w, and Discovery MR750 & 750w. It combines therapeutic acoustic ultrasound waves with continuous guidance and treatment monitoring by MRI. This unique combination of technologies is called Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Therapy (MRgFUS). Physicians use the MRI to plan and guide the therapy and monitor treatment outcome. The focused ultrasound’s acoustic energy destroys the targeted without damaging surround tissues. MRgFUS offers non-invasive, non-ionizing radiation treatment with minimal discomfort and trauma in a single session of 2-3 hours. This mature technology provides consistent, predictable and immediate results allowing patient quick recovery and next day return to normal life. The treatment involves no incisions hence no scars or post-operative complications or long hospital stay.
This revolutionary technology is also CE marked for pain palliation treatment for bone metastases, and clinical trials are under way to determine if the technology could be an alternative treatment for a number of cancers including breast, brain, liver, and prostate.
Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Dr Karthik Kuppusamy, Director, MRI, GE Healthcare, South Asia said, “Operating room of the future is here in India already. Womens Centre, Coimbatore is the 4th hospital in India to be equipped with MRgFUS. InSightec and GE’s MRgFUS can cut tumors and fibroids without cutting the body! It is the best thing that happened to medicine since the scalpel. It is a dramatic change for women a proven technology and has already helped treat 400 women with uterine fibroids successfully in the country”.
Fibroid cases on the rise
The uterine fibroids can become a major health problem for women, making even routine tasks at the workplace and home very difficult. There have also been instances where formation of fibroids has hampered the proper formation and growth of a fetus in the womb. Up to 50% of women with uterine fibroids show no symptoms. However, if they do, it can involve heavy menstrual flow or period for a longer duration than normal, increased menstrual cramping, back ache, irregular or unpredictable bleeding, lower abdominal pressure, constipation, abdominal bloating, infertility and miscarriage. Fibroids are primary reason for surgical removal of uterus, accounting for 30-70% of all hysterectomies performed in India. Hysterectomy is a highly invasive procedure which can entail long hospital stay and longer recovery times.
For women who aren't comfortable with the removal of their reproductive organs, the extended recovery time, or simply do not want to undergo surgery, and would like to preserve fertility, MRgFUS can be a great solution. Patients treated with MRgFUS miss on average a total of 1.4 work days compared to an average of 18 days for hysterectomy patients.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.
GE Healthcare is at work for a healthier India. We are focusing on some of the toughest healthcare challenges of India – lowering maternal and infant deaths; enable early detection of cancer for early treatment, addressing heart disease the burden etc. We design, develop and manufacture technologies in India for India and the world that will enhance access to quality healthcare at affordable costs to more people. http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com.
About Womens Center, Coimbatore
Womens Center, Coimbatore has been at the forefront of addressing women’s health for over 30 years. This unit and its back up facilities represent one of the best set of women’s health centers in South India. It deals with the entire spectrum of women's healthcare needs, catering to women in several districts of North Western Tamil Nadu and also serves as a tertiary care referral center for southern Tamil Nadu, parts of Kerala and Karnataka.
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