Fibroid Treatment

April 2, 2013

Fibroid-Treatment_LI-00-0158-AUterine fibroid tumors may affect up to 30% of women in their childbearing years, with the risk increasing with age. Formed in a woman’s uterus, uterine fibroids may not always come with symptoms, but when symptoms are present, and especially when they are severe, fibroid treatment is important to ensure the woman’s comfort. There are a variety of options for fibroid treatment, including both medical and surgical treatments.

Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone Agonists

This method uses hormone-releasing drugs in the form of an oral treatment or IUD to help treat pain and bleeding and shrink the fibroid size, generally before surgery is performed.

Advantages:

  • Non-invasive method
  • Can be used before surgery to make surgery easier, lessen the recovery time needed and minimize loss of blood.

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive method to use for long-term fibroid treatment.
  • Side effects can include loss of bone density and osteoporosis as well as symptoms of menopause.
  • Fertility is preserved with this method.

Short term elimination of symptoms:

  • Up to 90% pain relief (Source)

Long term recurrence:

  • The long-term recurrence for this fibroid treatment is high, as fibroids often return to their previous state once the patient stops taking the medication. The long term recurrence depends on the surgical procedure used after treatment

Uterine Sparing

  • Yes.

Radiofrequency Volumetric Thermal Ablation – Acessa™ System

The Acessa System is an outpatient, minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses ultrasound guidance to allow the surgeon to identify all of the fibroids present in the patient’s abdomen. The surgeon then inserts the Acessa handpiece into each fibroid to ablate the fibroid from within.

Advantages

  • Treats all the fibroids while sparing the uterus
  • Minimally invasive in an outpatient setting
  • Fast recovery – patients go home the same day and return to work within 2-3 days.
  • Low recurrence rate
  • Treats fibroids in virtually all locations of the uterus
  • Lower cost than open surgery

Disadvantages

  • Risks associated with laparoscopic surgery

Short Term Elimination of Symptoms

  • Bleeding stops right away
  • Other symptoms resolve as the body absorbs the fibroid tissue

Long term Recurrence

  • Less than 5%

Uterine Sparing

  • Yes.

Hysterectomy

The hysterectomy method of fibroid treatment consists of removing the uterus through surgery. It can be done “open” where an incision is made in the abdominal wall and the uterus is taken out through that incision. It can also be performed through the vagina, in a more minimally invasive procedure. Finally, laparoscopic hysterectomy is a popular and growing approach to hysterectomy. This is a minimally invasive procedure where the uterus is removed through the abdominal wall or vagina.

Advantages:

  • There is no risk of recurrence.
  • Lower blood loss and greater patient satisfaction with minimally invasive method.

Disadvantages:

  • Being major surgery, there are some risks involved such as bleeding, fever and risk of damage to surrounding organs.
  • Recovery from an “open” hysterectomy is 6-8 weeks.

Short term elimination of symptoms:

  • Because the uterus is removed, symptoms are eliminated

Long term recurrence:

  • With the uterus gone, fibroids cannot recur.

Uterine Sparing

  • No.

Uterine Artery Embolization

With this method of fibroid treatment, a radiologist targets the area around the uterus with tiny particles to cut off blood supply to the uterus arteries and shrink the fibroid.

Advantages:

  • Minimally invasive
  • Surgery is not necessary with this method
  • Hospital stay can be as short as 24-36 hours.

Disadvantages:

  • Higher risk of recurrence and pain after the procedure.

Short term elimination of symptoms:

  • Approximately 90%

Long term recurrence:

  • Approximately 30-50% of patients show recurrence of symptoms within 3years

Uterine Sparing

  • Yes.

Myomectomy

A myomectomy is the removal of the fibroid from the uterus surgically. It can be done either “open” or using a minimally invasive method.

Advantages:

  • Resolution of symptoms initially
  • This fibroid treatment allows the preservation of the woman’s fertility

Disadvantages:

  • Higher rate of recurrence
  • This method can be complicated by how many fibroids are present and what state they are in.

Short term elimination of symptoms:

  • Up to 80% of patients are relieved of symptoms (Source)

Long term recurrence:

  • A myomectomy may allow for higher recurrence rates than other treatments, up to 45% after two years, according to some studies (Source)

Uterine Sparing

  • Yes.

With a variety of different options for fibroid treatment available, women should consider their options carefully and discuss with their doctor what method will work best for them.

Patient Information

For more information about the Acessa system, please click here to download our patient brochure. To learn about physicians near you who use the Acessa system, please call us at 877-412-3828.

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