By Mike Frialde (philstar.com) |
MANILA, Philippines - A police doctor on Tuesday told a local court in Makati City that businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles has a 6 centimeter uterine myoma which has caused her uterus to swell to the size of a woman about 3 and a half months pregnant.
However, PNP General Hospital gynecology section head Inspector Michelle Daguno told the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 that they have doctors who can perform the surgery to remove the myoma.
Daguno was testifying during the Makati court's hearing on Napoles' petition to be allowed to undergo surgery and confinement at the St. Luke's Medical Center at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig for the lump found in her uterus.
The police doctor, meanwhile, informed the court that Napoles' condition is not life-threatening and that there is no urgency for her to undergo surgery.
A uterine myoma (also called fibroid, leiomyoma, leiomyomata, and fibromyoma) is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that grows within the muscle tissue of the uterus. There can either be one dominant myoma in the uterus, or a cluster of many small myomas. Uterine myoma range in size from larger than a melon to as small as a coin.
According to www.myoma.co.uk, 20 percent to 50 percent of women of childbearing age have uterine myoma. While many women do not experience any problems, symptoms can be severe enough to require treatment. For example, a very large myoma may cause the uterus to stretch to the size of a six or seven-month pregnancy.
Daguno, when asked by presiding judge Elmo Alameda, said the PNP General Hospital has 40 doctors, five of whom are obstetrician-gynecologists (OB-GYN) that could perform surgery on Napoles to remove the myoma from Napoles' uterus.
However, Daguno said that unless ordered so by the court, PNP doctors could not operate on Napoles if she refuses.
Daguno said that while Napoles is considered a detainee, she retains the right to choose her own doctors.
"She must consent to the operation," said Dungo.
Dungo added that the removal of a uterine myoma is an elective procedure and that it could be scheduled.
Not bleeding profusely
Dungo also told the court that Napoles was not bleeding when she was examined at the PNP General Hospital last February 26, contrary to the businesswoman's claim that she has been experiencing profuse vaginal bleeding for 39 days straight, so much that she had to use three to five diapers per day.
When asked by Judge Alameda, Dungo, who has 16 years of experience as an OB-GYN, said she could perform the surgery on Napoles at the PNP General Hospital.
The court has set the continuation of the hearing of Napoles' petition for surgery and confinement at the St. Luke's Medical Center-Global City on March 18 at 9:30 am.
Last March 4, Napoles, through her lawyers asked the court to be allowed to have surgery and confinement at st luke's global
In an 11-page "Motion to Undergo Medical Surgery and Hospital Confinement" filed through her lawyers, Fay Isaguirre Singson and Evita Magnolia Ansaldo, Napoles asked that she be allowed to undergo surgery at the St. Luke's Medical Center-Global to have what appears to be a cyst found in her uterus removed and then be hospitalized for post-operative care.
In the motion, Napoles' lawyers said that while the cyst which was found in Napoles' uterus during the examination done at the Camp Crame General Hospital is not life-threatening, they argued that her doctors have advised that it be removed.
"While the accused-movant is thankful that her medical condtion is not life-threatening as quoted in the media to be according to the PNP (Philippine National Police), the fact remains however, that as per advice of the medical doctors, there is a need to undergo for ther removal of the cyst/mass in the accused-movant's abdomen. Failing in such could lead to a more serious health problem , which is stated earlier as hemmorhage or loss of blood resulting to anemia, which in turn, is fatal," said the motion.
Napoles' lawyers in their motion also requested that the surgery be done at the St. Luke's Medical Center-Global as the hospital has the most advanced medical equipment in the country and technology such as robotic surgery and minimal invasive surgery.
The lawyers added that Napoles' trusted and personal obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Elsie Badillo-Pascua who also works at the St. Luke's Global should be the one to perform the procedure.
On February 26, Napoles had a transvaginal ultrasound at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Camp Crame, Quezon City to check on a possible cyst suspected to be in her ovary.
After the check-up, PNP Health Services director Chief Supt. Alejandro Advincula said the possible cyst was not in Napoles' ovary but in her uterus.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor Christoper Garvida told the court that the prosecution panel will not oppose Napoles' surgery at the St. Luke's Medical Center-Global if she be moved to the Makati City Jail from the PNP-Special Action Force (SAF) camp at Fort Sto. Domingo in Silang, Cavite. Garvida said the Makati City Jail is even closer to the St. Luke's Medical Center located at the nearby Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
For his part, Bruce Rivera, another lawyer of Napoles told reporters after the hearing that the removal of the uterine myoma on his client could be done in another hospital closer to Fort Sto. Domingo such as the Southern Luzon Hospital and Medical Center located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
“Mrs. Napoles could agree to have the operation in other hospital. She just wants to remove the pain. Southern Luzon Hospital and Medical Center is okay with her,” he said.
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