Most women living with fibroids always have something in common and that is the fear of going through a surgical operation a couple of times. However, this fear will soon become a thing of the past as Nordica Fertility Center launched its fibroids care centre in Lagos and also unveiled a new technology which treats fibroids without going through the knife.
On Friday, July 9, 2021, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, the Medical Director of Nordica led a group of dignitaries, experts, medical practitioners, patients and newsmen into the new facility designed to cater to the needs of women living with fibroids. The more interesting aspect of the news was the official launch of the High Intensity Focus Ultrasound (HIFU) a new technology designed for treating fibroids without surgery. It is a non-evasive way of treating conditions like fibroids and adenomyosis and it is based on the principle of converting ultrasound to heat.
City People’s DAMILARE SALAMI 08155134152 was present at the launch and in this report, he brings you fresh details, enjoy.
WHY HIFU FOR FIBROIDS
According to Dr Ajayi, 70-80 per cent of Nigerian women suffer from fibroids once they hit the age of 20 and a large chunk of them are afraid of surgery because it is a bloody surgery. However, the presence of this new technology will completely take away the fear. This new technology has the ability to get patients back to their feet and faster as quickly as possible compared to other forms of fibroids treatments.
NORDICA PARTNERS CHINESE OUTFIT TO PROVIDE TECHNOLOGY
In a speech by Dr Ajayi, he revealed that his firm, Nordica Fertility Center is in partnership with a Chinese outfit to provide the technology for Nigerians. “Today we are making history again. In partnership with HAIFU Limited China, makers of the High Intensity Focused Ultrasound technology, we are able to treat uterine fibroids in a non-invasive manner. This means the patients will literally walk in and out after we use high-intensity ultrasound to burn off the fibroids without opening the patient at all.”
LAGOS FIRST LADY, MRS IBIJOKE SANWO-OLU DELIVERS GOODWILL MESSAGE
One of the special guests of honour at the event was the first lady of Lagos State, Dr Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu. Although she was unavoidably absent, she was ably represented by Dr Omobolade Johnson. Mrs Sanwo-Olu in her speech revealed that Nordica has always been a trailblazer in Nigeria when it comes to women’s health and they have proven to be on top of their game with this innovation, being the first in the West African sub-region. With this launch, Nigeria has joined the league of 29 countries in the world with HIFU technology for the treatment of uterine fibroid, being the third in Africa and first in West Africa respectively.
HOW THE TECHNOLOGY WORKS
Dr Abayomi while speaking with City People reveals that one of the advantages of the technology is minimal human contact with the patient. “the woman just essentially lies on the table and after about one hour and thirty minutes to two hours, the process is all over. And the funny part is that you see most of them asking if you have started after the process because you don’t touch them. It is the water from the machine that touches their abdomen and that’s it.
“Patients should expect to have an assessment whereby we know whether you are an ideal patient for HIFU, this also will include a screening for cervical cancer, a check on the cervix and once we are sure that the patient is qualified, she does MRI to help us localize the fibroid so that the machine can be appropriately set to know where to fire. Once that is done, we have to prepare the bowel of the patient because HIFU doesn’t like gas. The patient will also have to train or learn how to lie down still for about two hours because that is the average length of the process. It could be shorter or slightly longer. On the day of the surgery, the patient is expected to come to the hospital with someone to accompany her. It will be done under sedation so she has to come fasting. The treatment can be stopped in-between to allow the patient some time to rest. It really is like doing an ultrasound but the difference is that this is longer so you are going to be lying down for quite a while”, he concluded.
MEET THE FIRST WOMAN TO USE HIFU TECH FOR FIBROIDS TREATMENT IN WEST AFRICA
Patricia Omoke is a 38-year-old single lady who works as an admin officer at a specialist hospital in Lagos. Like many other African women, she was diagnosed of uterine fibroid but was afraid of going through the knives. According to her, she had made use of several supplements to treat the condition with little or no result. Patricia had her fibroids treatment on the 25th of June, 2021 and after a few hours, she was back on her feet. “I was actually diagnosed with fibroids in 2018 and since then, it has been from one problem to another. But with my knowledge and experience of HIFU through Nordica fertility centre, everything has changed. What I feel about the treatment is pure excitement and a good thing for our generation”, she concluded.
THREE LUCKY WOMEN GET FREE HIFU TREATMENT
As part of its corporate social responsibility and commitment to women health, Nordica Fertility Center gave free HIFU treatment to three lucky women who had compelling fibroid stories. The women expressed surprise and gratitude to the Nordica Foundation for the kind gesture. The lucky women are Mrs Bolaji Olusoji, a widow, mother of three children and Lagos-based businesswoman. One compelling thing about her story is that she has severe pains every month because of the presence of fibroids in her uterus. The second is Celina Esowe, another Lagos-based fashion designer who got to know about HIFU and Nordica on Facebook. She was diagnosed of fibroids in 2017 and had been on native drugs since then. According to her, there had been no improvements whatsoever.
And the third to be mentioned is Patricia Omoke who has been named above as the first to get HIFU treatments for fibroids in West Africa.
DR JOY OLORUNTOBI SHARES HER HIFU EXPERIENCE
Dr Joy Oloruntobi is a practicing medical doctor who was diagnosed with fibroids at the age of 27 in 2013. According to her, her life came to a standstill after this diagnosis. It was so bad that she bled all through the year 2017 as a result of this condition and had to resign from her job. “I’m a medical doctor and a virgin so I didn’t want any invasive surgery. I read about HIFU some years ago but its option of bailing me out remained a fantasy until Nordica brought it to my reality and on Tuesday, I did the surgery here. By Wednesday, I was already on my feet moving around and living my normal life and people were asking me if I was sure I had any surgery at all.
DOCTORS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WILL ALSO BE TRAINED ON HOW TO USE HIFU
One of the sheer benevolence of the Nordica Fibroid Care Center is the availability of training for medical doctors across the country on how to use the HIFU machine. According to Dr Ajayi, training had begun for medical doctors who are interested in how to use this technology. The first set of doctors had their training on 29th of June to 2nd July 2021, the second phase will come up on July 27th to 30th while the third face will come up on August 24th to 27th, 2021.
Present at the event are Dr. Oreoluwa Finnih (Senior Assistant on health) representing Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Mrs. Tola Ajayi (Clinic Manager, Nordica Fertility Centre), Dr. Omobolade Johnson (Representative of Her Excellency the First Lady of Lagos State), Mr. Adetokunbo Adesanya (Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nordica Fertility Centre), Dr Adedamola Dada (Chief Medical Director Federal Medical Centre Ebutte Metta) representative of the Minister of State for Health, and many others.