On average, it costs $321 for Joselin's treatment
- Impact on patient's life
- Cultural or regional significance
What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?
Fibroids and chronic inflammatory disease can cause protracted bleeding and pain. Bleeding often leads to severe anemia, which can cause chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?
Uterine prolapse is a condition in which the uterus descends from its normal position. This condition can impair women's urinary and reproductive function. The pain resulting from uterine prolapse makes it difficult for women to work and participate in daily activities. Heavy bleeding can cause anemia and make women more susceptible to other illnesses.
What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?
Women of African descent are two to three times more likely to develop uterine fibroids.
Bwindi Community Hospital is in a rural area where most people work in agriculture. It is particularly important that women receive treatment, as their jobs often involve manual labor.
- Impact on patient's life
- Risks and side-effects
What does the treatment process look like?
The patient is admitted to the hospital the day before scheduled surgery. Prior to surgery, her case is reviewed by the gynecologist and the anesthetist. The patient learns what to expect during surgery.
After surgery, the patient learns about the outcome and is informed if a suspicious mass was removed. She is also counseled about recovery. The patient will stay in the hospital for an average of five days.
Recovery for this procedure is relatively slow, lasting one to two months. After recovery, the patient should be energetic and able to return to her usual activities.
What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?
This treatment improves lives. It allows women disabled by severe anemia, bleeding, and discomfort to return to their lives as usual.
What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?
Risks accompany any surgery. However, this condition is very treatable, and treatment comes with few risks. In the majority of cases, a one-time surgery will resolve the condition completely. Cases of cancer, in which surgery may not completely remove the cancer, are the only exception.
How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?
The treatment is not easily accessible in the area surrounding Bwindi Community Hospital. The other nearest hospital with surgical facilities is more than a two-hour drive away over rough, dirt roads.
Women may walk, travel on motorcycle taxis, or take local buses to the hospital. They can learn about this surgery through village health teams or through other means.
What are the alternatives to this treatment?
The alternative for most patients is to live for many years in chronic pain. Uterine prolapse can also lead to other illnesses because the general health of the woman is compromised.
Patients may attempt to relieve suffering with local herbs or painkillers. They may spend months or years waiting to receive treatment from free government hospitals.