HACKENSACK, N.J. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Up to 80 percent of all women will have a fibroid by the time they are in their fifties: a non-cancerous tumor in the muscle of the uterus. A small percentage of fibroids develop in the cervix, often causing problems with fertility. Doctors in New Jersey used an unusual technique to help keep one woman's "baby dreams" alive.
Francesco Stancato is 17 months old and growing by the day. But getting to this point was a challenge for mom, MaryBeth. For years, her periods were unpredictable and unusually heavy. Until one night.
"I tried to take a shower and unfortunately I lost so much blood I became unconscious," MaryBeth said.
MaryBeth was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Doctors found a fibroid on her cervix. Doctors suggested trying to shrink it with hormones or a total hysterectomy.
MaryBeth shared, "At the time I was 36, we had three kids, but we had in our mind that we weren't finished with our family yet."
John DeMeritt, MD, Interventional Radiology and attending physician at Hackensack University Medical Center is an expert in vascular embolization, closing off blood vessels that feed tumors. In the past, uterine embolization hasn't worked on cervical fibroids, so Dr. DeMeritt and his team devised a new approach. They inserted a catheter in MaryBeth's leg, then worked to deliver tiny particles as close as possible to the fibroid.
"We tried to thread an even smaller catheter than is usually used directly into the artery that feeds the cervix," Dr. DeMeritt said.
Doctors did a follow-up after three months.
"Surprisingly, the fibroid had shrunk by 92 percent," Dr. DeMeritt said.
Three months after that …
"He was a surprise. We were pregnant within six months of surgery. He is definitely our little miracle, right?" MaryBeth said.
Francesco thinks so too!
MaryBeth was awake during the procedure and says she felt calm as she watched the process on a monitor. Doctors used advanced imaging during the procedure to ensure the particles designed to block the blood flow were delivered to the right place.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Field and Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Robert Walko, Editor.
To receive a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe, sign up at: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk
TOPIC: FRANCESCO'S HERE THANKS TO NEW EMBOLIZATION TECHNIQUE
REPORT: MB #4450
BACKGROUND: Many women have benign (non-cancerous) growths in or on the uterus called fibroids. Most fibroids are small and do not cause any problems. When they are detected it is usually by chance. Depending on where the fibroids are located they may cause period pain, heavy menstrual bleeding or other symptoms. There are different ways of treating fibroids, and the right sort of treatment will depend quite a lot on a woman's individual circumstances, such as whether she is trying to conceive. It is important to note that there is no need to treat fibroids unless they are causing symptoms. Fibroids can occur in three different portions of the uterus: the cervix, the body and the fundus of the uterus. Ninety five percent are located in the body and the fundus of the uterus. Only five percent occur in the cervix, but they are the most difficult to treat.
(Source: John DeMeritt, MD & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024645/)
TREATMENT: During menopause, fibroids often shrink, and symptoms often become less apparent or even resolve completely. When treatment is necessary, it can take the form of medication or surgery. The location of the fibroids, the severity of symptoms, and any future childbearing plans can all affect the decision. The first line of treatment for fibroids is medication. Severe fibroids may not respond to more conservative treatment options, and surgery may be necessary. Fibroids do not normally result in complications, but if they occur, they can be serious and even life-threatening. Complications may include heavy periods, abdominal pain, pregnancy problems, infertility, and Leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: John DeMeritt, MD, Assistant Director of Interventional Radiology, Vascular Embolization Procedures, Specializing in Uterine (Fibroid) and Prostate (BPH) embolization, talks about cervical fibroids and an "out of the box" procedure. Dr. DeMeritt said, "We devised an innovative approach and new methodology (using much smaller particles, adding vasodilator drugs to facilitate the shrinkage of the cervical fibroid, and placing a tiny catheter more distally into arteries that directly supply the cervix. With results beyond all expectations, we advanced a tiny catheter further than has been typically done into the very small arteries which directly feed the cervix. First case in US literature. First selective cervical artery Embolization with a subsequent full-term pregnancy and vaginal delivery." In general, the follow up will occur out to 14 months after delivery of the baby with 96 percent final volume reduction of cervical fibroids.
(Source: John DeMeritt, MD)
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT:
Sheri Hensley, PR
If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know~to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org