Most women develop fibroids at some point in their lives, but for 1 in 5, these growths can become highly problematic, causing varying levels of pain and bleeding, as well as pregnancy issues. Until now, the most effective way to put an end to troublesome fibroids was through a hysterectomy, which is an aggressive, and irreversible, approach to the problem. Thanks to Acessa™, we can address your fibroids through a minimally invasive, uterine-sparing procedure.
At Texas Urogynecology & Laser Surgery Center, our goal is to offer our El Paso area patients the latest tools and treatments in women’s health. And when we first heard about the Acessa procedure, we immediately adopted the FDA-cleared technique — in fact, Dr. Richard Farnam was the first surgeon in El Paso to perform the Acessa procedure.
If you haven’t heard about this revolutionary new treatment for problematic fibroids, here’s what you need to know.
Fibroids affect approximately 35 million women in the United States, 7 million of whom develop symptoms that warrant medical attention. The good news is that fibroids are noncancerous growths, but the bad news is that some can grow very large (about the size of a grapefruit) or numerous, bringing with them a host of symptoms that include:
- Pain in your low back
- Heavy bleeding
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent urination
- Complications during pregnancy and labor
Fibroids can be particularly problematic for women 35 and older, 20%-40% of whom report fibroids of significant size, as well as African Americans, who are 3-5 times more likely to develop the growths.
Out with the old
Traditionally, the treatments for fibroids disrupted a woman’s ability to have children, which was a heavy price to pay. From conservative treatments like birth control pills to more aggressive procedures like an endometrial ablation or a hysterectomy, women had to shelve their plans for childbearing to find relief from painful and problematic fibroids. Not to mention, a hysterectomy forces women into menopause, no matter their age.
In with the new
The reason why the Acessa procedure is a game-changer for women is because we now have the ability to go in and eliminate your fibroids while preserving your uterus.
To start, we make two small incisions (about 1 centimeter) in your lower abdomen and then use laparoscopic ultrasound equipment to locate your fibroids and determine their size. By using laparoscopic ultrasound, we’re afforded an extra layer of precision that allows us to effectively treat your fibroids.
In the next step, we insert a handpiece through the incision and, turning to laparoscopic ultrasound guidance, we deliver radiofrequency energy directly into your fibroids. The Acessa procedure relies on a proprietary mapping feature that ensures we target the center of each fibroid.
After we deliver the radiofrequency energy and fully ablate your fibroid(s), your body takes over and naturally absorbs the destroyed tissue over time.
We perform the Acessa procedure on an outpatient basis, though we do use general anesthesia so you should arrange for someone to drive you. Your recovery is a matter of days, rather than weeks with the other methods, and any scarring is hard to spot since the incisions are so incredibly small.
If you’d like to explore this revolutionary new treatment for problematic fibroids, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Or you can use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.