The hottest techniques for the treatment of uterine fibroids
Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound (MRGFU)
Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (also known as FUS—Focused Ultrasound Surgery) is a non-invasive outpatient procedure that uses high-intensity focused ultrasound waves to ablate (destroy) the fibroid tissue. During the procedure, an interventional radiologist uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to see inside the body to deliver the treatment directly to the fibroid.
MRI scans identify the fibroid tissues in the body to treat, and are used to plan each patient’s procedure. MRI provide a three-dimensional view of the targeted tissue, allowing for precise focusing and delivery of the ultrasound energy.
MRI also enables the physician to monitor tissue temperature in real time to ensure adequate but safe heating of the target (the fibroid).
The ultrasound energy used in MRGFU can pass through skin, muscle, fat, and other soft tissues. High-intensity ultrasound energy that is directed to the fibroid heats up the tissue and destroys it.
This method of tissue destruction is called “thermal ablation.”
For more information on this procedure, visit the Insight website at http://www.insightec.com/
Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE)
One of the newest treatments for fibroids, this procedure involves placing a small catheter into an artery in the groin and directing it to the blood supply of the fibroid. Little polyvinyl or gelatin foam particles (embolic particles) are injected through the catheter to block these arteries. This causes the fibroid to shrink. Although there may be pain for a short afterwards, this is usually treated with narcotics.
UAE may eliminate the need for surgical treatment of myomas (fibroids).
An estimated 13,000-14,000 UAE procedures are performed annually in the US (as of 2004)
The embolic particles are approved by the FDA specifically for UAE, based on comparative trials showing similar efficacy and fewer serious complications compared to hysterectomy and myomectomy.
UAE has been used by interventional radiologists for more than 20 years to treat heavy bleeding after childbirth. During that time, they have been used in thousands of women without long-term complications.For more information, please visit the Society of Interentional Radiology at:http://www.sirweb.org/patPub/uterine.shtml
Myomectomy is the only surgical treatment of myomas (fibroids) that preserves fertility.
The da Vinci® Surgical System is a state-of-the-art robotic devicethat allows surgeons to perform complex procedures remotely.
There are disadvantages, though. For one, the system is very expensive. Also, there is reduced tactile feedback, making some types of maneuvers more difficult.
Still, the science continues to advance, and its likely that robotic surgery will become the norm someday.For more information, please visit the below video