Women suffering from uterine fibroids, a debilitating condition that affects more than seven million women in the U.S., may soon have reason for hope. Halt Medical, a biomedical company based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is developing a minimally invasive procedure for treating the condition. The company recently presented their findings from studies in Latin America at the NIH Global Fibroid Congress.
"Uterine fibroids are the leading cause of women's surgeries worldwide," says Russ DeLonzor, President and Chief Operating Officer of Halt. "Currently women must choose between suffering with their symptoms or sacrificing their uterus." The symptoms can be severe, ranging from acute pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, and painful intercourse, to excessive menstrual bleeding.
"Hysterectomy surgeries can be highly traumatic for women," says DeLonzor. "It's not only an emotional decision, but also a painful one, with a typical six-week recovery time. Halt Medical was formed with a single goal in mind," adds DeLonzor, "to give women suffering with the awful symptoms caused by fibroids an alternative to losing their uterus."
The Halt Fibroid System is a precise, minimally invasive outpatient procedure that allows women to return to normal activities in just 3 – 4 days. A slender probe is inserted into the fibroid under ultrasound guidance. Once in position, the system delivers a specified amount of energy to the fibroid. The heat generated in the process destroys the fibroid, relieving the symptoms while sparing the uterus.
"We commend the NIH for sponsoring this forum," DeLonzor says. "Uterine fibroids are a significant public health issue, and we are honored to share the results of our Latin American Studies."
The results of Halt's international studies have led to recent approvals for treating uterine fibroids in Canada and the European Union. The Halt System may be used for general surgical use in the US, however it is currently cleared by the FDA only for investigational use for treating symptomatic fibroids.