Bangkok, Bangkok Thailand (PressExposure) November 13, 2008 -- Bangkok Hospital Medical Center is now utilizing the most advanced technology available for treating uterine fibroids, one of the leading causes of infertility in women.
The new process is known as uterine fibroid embolization.
It involves using radiology to isolate the arteries which supply blood to the fibroids and occluding them, cutting of their supply to cause death of the fibroid tissue.
This cutting edge procedure drastically reduces the risks of traditional removal methods, which included open abdominal surgery or laparoscopy, both of which require greater incisions than the embolization technique does.
The treatment has many advantages over other options, including:
Ã¢â¬Â¢ No need for general anesthetic and the associated risks
Ã¢â¬Â¢ No scarring
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Shorter hospital stay
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Shorter recovery period
Side effects are minor and easily treated, and include stomach upsets and fever, which can be treated by over-the-counter drugs. These are also available at a lower cost in Thailand than in the West.
Where previously larger or more inconveniently located fibroids required more invasive treatment, uterine fibroid embolization is available to almost all women with fibroid tumors, including subserosal, submucosal, intramural and cervical.
Previously, fibroid removal was a great risk to a woman's future reproductive health.
Pregnancy was sometimes impossible after fibroid removal. The new embolization technique now in use at Bangkok Hospital helps ensure the health of surrounding tissue, while destroying the majority of the tumor.
This means that people who were previously infertile because of fibroids, or did not want to risk future reproductive capabilities in treatment, can now utilize this technique to have a pain-free future as well as children.
While pregnancy was still possible with some smaller fibroids, they do pose a risk to the viability of a pregnancy. Fibroids are known to cause miscarriage and bleeding in pregnancy.
Uterine fibroids are estimated to affect 25-50% of women during their reproductive years.
They cause heavy bleeding, sometimes unrelated to menstruation, back pain, abdominal discomfort and infertility.
This procedure is classified as elective by some insurance agents, and as such incurs out of pocket expenses even for insured patients.
The cost of treatment in hospitals in Thailand is known to be much lower than in Western countries, with procedures such as heart bypass surgery costing up to 11 times less than they do in the US, and procedures such as gastric bypasses or hip replacements costing up to 4 times less.
As such, this cutting edge technology is expected to most benefit medical tourism patients.