High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound
This is a new procedure that is still undergoing trials.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the ExAblate 2000 technology for focused ultrasound treatment of uterine fibroids on Oct 22, 2004.
Manufacturers are actively working with insurers to obtain insurance coverage for this treatment.
Many women can not be treated because of the location, and the reduction in size is minimal — much less than UFE.
It may gets the attention because of expensive marketing campaigns and the desire to make money, instead of the best interests of women with fibroids
It is a non-invasive outpatient procedure, which uses MRI to locate fibroids and then directs high-intensity ultrasound energy to destroy the fibroids.
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound involves inserting 4 specially designed needles through the abdomen.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is then used to guide the needles directly to the fibroid.
The MRI is also used to monitor the effects on normal tissue around the fibroid in order to prevent any damage during the procedure.
Once in place, the needles release laser energy into the centre of the fibroid, burning its tissue and halting its growth.
Results so far suggest this procedure is
§ effective in reducing symptoms and fibroid size,
§ minimally invasive
§ without complications.
These are, however, only the first set of results.
More research and longer follow-up is needed to fully understand the benefits, risks and long-term effects.