Uterine Fibroid Embolization in Nigeria. Yes fibroid can now be treated without surgery in Nigeria. It can be done with a new technology performed by doctors (radiologists) and it is called Uterine Fibroid embolisation. It is a bloodless, clean, effective but an expensive procedure that requires training and special skills on the side of your doctor.
Before I continue, I assume you know already what fibroids are; fibroids are non cancerous tumours that grow from the muscle layers of the womb. They may be bean sized or be as big as a watermelon.
There are many treatment options for fibroids in Nigeria and surgery is the most popular especially for symptomatic fibroids. The problem is many women with fibroids are scared of going “under the knife” so they prefer an effective non-surgical method to get treated. If you are one of this women, worry no more! Uterine fibroid embolisation has come to the rescue! But first, we have to discuss it extensively: what is uterine fibroid embolization, how does it work, what are the benefits and the risks, who is eligible, where and what is the cost of uterine fibroid embolization in Nigeria?
1. What is uterine fibroid embolization?
Normally fibroids masses have a rich blood supply and cutting-off or blocking the blood supply will shrink the fibroid mass. Embolisation is the blocking of the blood flow to the fibroid in order to shrink or completely make it go away.
2. How does it work?
It is done in the theatre and requires 2-3 days hospital stay. The procedure involves the doctor inserting a catheter through your groin into your femoral artery and manoeuvring it to your uterine artery ( the artery that supply/feed the fibroid). On getting to the uterine arteries, your doctor will inject some chemicals that look like pellets to block the arteries. Just like a man without food or nutrients will die of starvation, the fibroid masses will shrink and begin to die and the uterus fully recovers. Uterine fibroid embolization as a method of fibroid treatment in Nigeria is simply the cutting-off “food supply” to fibroid so they can starve, shrink and die. The woman becomes better for it. It is done under local anaesthesia meaning you will be wide awake during the procedure. To allay your fear or anxiety, the doctor will give you some sedatives to calm you down. The whole procedure takes about 90minutes in the theatre.
3. How successful is uterine fibroid embolization in Nigeria?
About 90 percent of women have a good report or feedback. Following a good embolisation, there is marked reduction in the size of the fibroid after 6 months. The heavy bleeding you experience will disappear immediately in most cases, and there is no recurrence usually. Pain plus pelvic pressure symptoms like constipation and frequent urination will also disappear.
4.Who is eligible?
Uterine fibroid embolization in spite of the benefits, is not suitable for every Nigerian woman.
- It is suitable for women with large and symptomatic fibroids.
- Not good for pregnant women with fibroids.
- Not suitable for women who still wish to have children(surgery is recommended for their fibroid treatment instead).
5. Benefits of uterine fibroid embolization in Nigeria
Uterine fibroid embolisation is very good and comes highly recommended for the Nigerian woman that craves fibroid treatment/cure without surgery or operation.
- It is safe
- It is done under local anaesthesia so you will be wide awake during the procedure.
- No blood loss
- Recovery time and hospital stay is very short compared to the 8-10 weeks of recovery time after surgery
- Minimal incisions are made
- Suitable for women that forbids blood transfusion because of their faith.
6. The risks/ disadvantages
- It is very expensive. The cost of uterine fibroid embolisation in Nigeria is between #800,000- #1,000,000 naira or a little less.
- It is a new method of fibroid cure in Nigeria so there are few experts and few hospitals that does it.
- The catheter that will be inserted can cause damage to the blood vessels. This is very rare
- The embolic agent can get lodged in a wrong place.Rare too.
- The penetrated or breached skin can cause infection.
- It is not suitable for pregnant women
- 1 to 5% of women that undergo embolization especially woman aged 40-45 years may suffer menopause. This is not good for women that wish to still have babies after the procedure.
- Younger women may regrow new fibroids after uterine artery embolization.
- Uterine fibroid embolisation weakens the womb making your next be through caesarean section. This is because of the fear of rupture
- Trust me, the doctors try as much as possible to minimize these risks. None of these risks have been reported by any Nigerian woman that had uterine fibroid embolization so far, as they are usually followed up. It is 4 years old in Nigeria now.
7. Where is uterine fibroid embolization done in Nigeria
As at now, only Cedarcrest Hospitals performs the procedure in the whole country and if not West Africa. They have branches in Abuja, Lagos, and Asaba.
they are located at No 2, Sam Mbakwe Street, Gudu District, Apo, Abuja, Nigeria
No 25A Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
Call: 08095151353, 08093931949
8. Cost of uterine fibroid embolization in Nigeria
How much is uterine fibroid embolization in Nigeria? In a bid to get an answer to this question, I put a call through to Cedarcrest Hospital Branch in Lagos, the man that picked the call told me the cost of uterine fibroid embolization at Cedarcrest hospitals is individualized(depends on the woman) and depends on the stage of the fibroid. He said clients have to come for evaluation and investigations before the cost of the procedure can be reached and disclosed to them and not what can just be disclosed over the phone. He didn’t want the price of the procedure in Cedarcrest hospital to be underquoted.
Now my opinion:
Putting into consideration, the admission fee, drugs, consultation, tests, and the fact that few hospitals have the expertise for the procedure, the cost of uterine fibroid embolization in Nigeria will be around #800,000- #1,000,000 naira or a little less.
Thank you and help me share this.