CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — On June 12,
2011, viewers of the CBS Evening News learned about Stephanie
Small’s gripping story. Suffering from a large uterine fibroid, the
27-year-old was treated last December as part of a MR-guided
focused ultrasound clinical trial at the University of Virginia in
Small says her focused ultrasound treatment changed her life.
She experienced symptom relief within a few days and reports that
her quality of life has steadily and significantly improved.
“I think focused ultrasound surgery is amazing, and I believe
that fears of incisions, scaring, complications and long painful
recovery times are now concerns of the past with this new
technology,” she says.
Small’s journey unfolded over many months, from the time she
received her diagnosis and was advised to have a myomectomy.
Fearful of the risks associated with that treatment, she began
searching for other options. Surfing the web for information, she
discovered the websites for the Focused Ultrasound Surgery
Foundation and its patient support organization, Fibroid
Relief. What she learned there proved to be invaluable and
convinced her to opt for MR-guided focused ultrasound treatment.
She made arrangements to undergo the noninvasive outpatient
procedure at a center near her home in eastern Pennsylvania.
However, a major stumbling block quickly surfaced: Small’s
health insurer refused to cover her focused ultrasound treatment.
Determined to proceed, she downloaded the Reimbursement
Resource Toolkit from the Fibroid Relief website. A popular
resource that has been downloaded 1350 times since its August 2010
debut, the toolkit contains sample letters and tips for appealing a
health plan denial.
Faced with steadily increasing pain and disability, Small opted
to participate in the UVA study rather tha