Non-Invasive Uterine Fibroid Treatment at Spire Parkway Hospital?
What is MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS)?
MRgFUS is a non-invasive, out-patient procedure which uses focused ultrasound waves to destroy uterine fibroids, without affecting any of the other tissues around the fibroid. The procedure is conducted in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner which helps the radiologist "see" inside the body to pinpoint, guide and continuously monitor the treatment.
Imagine using a magnifying glass to focus the sun's energy on a single point to create a flame to burn a leaf. The focused ultrasound energy is directed at a small volume of the fibroid, raising its temperature high enough to cause thermal ablation (killing of the cells) without impacting other tissues. Pulses of energy are repeated until the entire volume is treated.
Thousands of women have benefitted from MRgFUS as a non-invasive, fertility preserving treatment option for pre and peri-menopausal women for their symptomatic uterine fibroids.
MRgFUS may be used to treat benign uterine fibroids (myomas) without surgery. This incision-free, uterine-sparing approach offers an important alternative to treatments such as hysterectomy, myomectomy and UAE (uterine artery embolisation).
- It is non-invasive – without the trauma and potentially long recovery times of surgery.
- It is an out-patient procedure – in most cases, patients return to normal activity within one or two days with no restrictions.
- It is uterine-sparing – many women have become pregnant after this treatment.
- It has a high safety profile - which minimises the risk of side effects.
Want to know more about MR guided focused ultrasound?
Find out more here
How do I know if I am suitable for MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS)?
If you require treatment for your fibroid related symptoms but want to avoid surgery and preserve your uterus, we will be happy to arrange a consultation with you. A consultant gynaecologist will ask you questions about your fibroid symptoms, general health and medical history. You will also have routine blood work, an internal gynecological examination and MR imaging of your fibroids. Based on this information, the consultant gyneacologist and interventional radiologist will decide if you are a candidate for MRgFUS.
What happens during the procedure?
Before treatment, you are given a sedative and pain medication to help you relax. You lie on a special bed and are made comfortable before starting treatment. The treatment takes place with you lying on the bed inside the MR scanner. Your clinical team will be in the next room with two-way communication using a microphone and a speaker. The radiographer will inform you when images are being taken (scanning) and when the system is sonicating (treatment).
First, the radiologist identifies the fibroid(s) on MR images taken of your pelvic region. Then, after detailed planning, high energy focused ultrasound waves heat a small spot in the uterine fibroid. During the pulse or sonication, which lasts about 15 seconds, the radiologist monitors the progress and reviews temperature-sensitive images. Since each sonication treats a very small volume, this process will be repeated until the required volume is treated, which is usually about 50 times. The procedure lasts about three hours depending upon the size and number of fibroids treated.
Following the treatment, the treated tissue shrinks and dehydrates over a period of months, providing symptom relief.
What should I experience during the treatment?
During treatment, it is normal to feel a warming sensation in your tummy. You will be given a safety stop button that allows you to immediately stop the sonication if the treatment becomes painful.
You are awake the entire time and provide feedback during the procedure to the radiologist.
What should I experience after the treatment?
Afterwards you will be asked to rest for a few hours in the hospital, while the mild sedation wears off. Then you will be able to go home and resume normal activity. A follow-up appointment, which will include an MRI scan, will be arranged for you at six months post-treatment.
MRgFUS information - NICE Guidance 2011
For more information read more here in the MRgFUS Patient Information Booklet