If you or your loved one has uterine fibroids, hysterectomy may not be the only option. Fibroid treatments have come a long way, including uterine fibroid surgery. But first, here’s a little bit about fibroids and what symptoms they cause.
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors in the uterus that occur in women in their 30s or 40s and often shrink naturally after menopause. They’re diagnosed by pelvic exam and ultrasound. On average, women who are affected by fibroids have about six or seven in the uterus at the time of treatment. What causes fibroids isn’t known, but they occur in up to 50% of all women.
What are the symptoms of fibroids? Many women experience pelvic pain, frequent urination, backaches, and constipation. Menstrual flow is the most common indication. Of women diagnosed with fibroids, 46% reported heavy, gushing periods. Symptoms can also vary depending on the type of fibroid.
There are three types of uterine fibroids. Subserosal fibroids are located under the outer layer of the uterus. Intramural fibroids are located within the uterine wall and can distort the shape of the uterus. The last type, submucosal fibroids, are located in the uterine cavity. 95% of fibroids are either subserosal or intramural while the remaining 5% are submucosal.
Removing the uterus via hysterectomy is one of the most common treatments for uterine fibroids. However, there are less extreme alternatives.
Radiofrequency ablation (Acessa) treats each fibroid with energy applied through small needles. As time passes, the treated fibroids shrink and reabsorb into the body, leaving the surrounding, normal tissue unaffected. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, generally takes a few hours, requires two very small incisions in the abdomen, and allows the patient to go home the same day. Compared to other treatments for uterine fibroids, this is a very easy procedure.
After having Acessa done, most patients experience a decrease in pelvic pain and heavy bleeding within two days. It’s very uncommon for fibroids to come back after having this procedure. In fact, less than 5% of women need any further treatment.
For more information about Acessa as a treatment of uterine fibroids, visit www.acessaprocedure.com.