GHS doctors first in SC to conduct new fibroid study - FOX Carolina 21

GHS doctors first in SC to conduct new fibroid study

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GHS doctors first in SC to conduct new study on fibroids. (Courtesy: AP Graphics) GHS doctors first in SC to conduct new study on fibroids. (Courtesy: AP Graphics)

During a sit-down conversation with her doctor, patient Monica Criswell, got much needed information about her health, including an ongoing issue that had not been diagnosed.

"It's important that now I take a little bit more time and a little bit more effort to figure out what is going on with myself," Criswell said.

A couple of years ago a doctor told her she had fibroids. A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth found in or on a uterus.

"I did not realize the extent of them, didn't do a lot of research on them," Criswell said. "I had heavy menstruals, fatigue, so I figured this is the norm, I need more vitamins."

Doctors say fibroids can also be very painful and Criswell was ready to get her health under control so she signed up for a new study.

Doctor David Forstein, a reproductive endocrinologist with the Greenville Health System, introduced Criswell to a study where doctors use a special device to shrink fibroids without abdominal surgery.

"The device delivers the electrical energy," Doctor Forstein said as he pointed to a fibroid on an ultrasound. "What we were able to do with this procedure is put a telescope in this way or a wand that has an ultra sound probe."

He said the device is being studied all across the United States and Mexico in order to gather enough data for the FDA to approve, and the doctors at GHS are the first to be able to offer the procedure within a research study.

Doctor Forstein has trained in obstetrics and gynecology and he treats and evaluates women's hormones. He says fibroids can be debilitating for women. 

"They have to miss work, that they have trouble taking care of the children they have," Doctor Forstein said.

Now that Criswell has started the study she says she feels much better. She says making the decision to take care of her health has been life changing.

"Get checked out because the more you educate yourself about what's going on with yourself, you'll be able to take more control of your life," Criswell said.

Doctors say after the procedure patients are usually back to work in a couple of days, unlike several weeks with an abdominal surgery. They also say patients must have specific fibroids and symptoms in order to qualify for the study.

Doctors are working with four patients right now and more than 100 others are participating throughout the country. For more information about fibroids or the study call 864-455-5951 and ask for Cheryl Myers.

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