Focused Ultrasound for Uterine Fibroids
Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound is a non-invasive outpatient procedure that uses more than 200 high-intensity, focused ultrasound waves to heat and destroy the fibroid tissue.
Watch this video to learn about
Gloria's focused ultrasound treatment at UVA.
The 3-dimensional MRI images allow the interventional radiologist to focus and deliver the ultrasound energy to areas within the fibroids. As of January 2011, about 7,000 women in the world have had focused ultrasound treatment for fibroids.
Pros: The treatment is non-invasive. This means there are no incisions, no radiation, no anesthesia and no hospitalization. It can be repeated as often as necessary.
Cons: This procedure is limited by the volume of fibroid tissue that needs to be treated. If there are too many, or if the fibroids are too large, focused ultrasound isn't an option. The fibroid(s) must be able to be targeted without being too close to old scars, the nerves in the spine, the intestines or the pubic bone.
Also, fibroids may recur over time. Research is still ongoing to determine a woman’s reproductive potential following treatment. Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a few insurance companies will provide coverage, but many insurance companies still consider this treatment investigational. Each patient is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Recovery Time: Typically one day.