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Uterine Fibroid Radiofrequency Ablation
The Weill Cornell Medicine Fibroid and Adenomyosis Program is the only program in the tri-state region to offer radiofrequency ablation (often referred to as “Acessa Procedure “) to treat uterine fibroids.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat to target fibroids one by one, reducing their size significantly. By shrinking the fibroids, patients enjoy less severe symptoms and a better quality of life.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is an effective procedure for improving painful symptoms caused by fibroids. The benefits of radiofrequency ablation include:
- Relief from fibroid symptoms in three to six months
- Protection of healthy tissue, including the uterus and ovaries
- No premature menopause
This procedure is best for a patient whose fibroids are not too large, uterus is located below the naval, and has not had complex abdominal surgeries in the past.
At the Weill Cornell Medicine Fibroid and Adenomyosis Program, all patients receive an extensive evaluation, including mapping of all fibroids. They are then evaluated by a team of fibroid specialists to determine if they are suitable candidates for this procedure.
Radiofrequency ablation reduces the size of fibroids but does not eliminate them. Fibroids can regrow, and new fibroids can develop after the procedure.
As a minimally invasive surgery, however, the complications and recovery time are minimal.
Radiofrequency ablation for fibroids can be associated with a small risk of bleeding, injury to internal organs, or hernias at the site of incisions.
This technique was approved in the United States in 2012, so there is limited long-term data, especially about pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes. This information is still being collected and studied. Be sure to speak with a board-certified gynecologist who specializes in this minimally invasive surgery to help consider the risks and benefits of radiofrequency ablation.
What to Expect During Radiofrequency Ablation
During this procedure, a gynecologist trained in minimally invasive surgery targets each fibroid with radiofrequency heat, sparing healthy uterine tissue.
Before the surgery, you will receive general anesthesia. The surgeon then makes two small incisions in the abdomen (one centimeter) and will place a laparoscope through one of the incisions. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tube with a camera on one end. Laparoscopic ultrasound is used to see inside the uterus and map the size and location of all fibroids. Each fibroid is then targeted individually using radiofrequency heat. This causes the fibroids to shrink, without damaging healthy uterine tissue or the eggs in the ovaries.
What to Expect During Recovery
Radiofrequency ablation for uterine fibroids is an outpatient procedure; no hospital stay is required. Typically, patients can leave the hospital a few hours after the procedure, begin work and mild activity in a few days, and recover fully within two weeks.
After this procedure, the fibroids will continue to shrink for several months. Most patients notice significant relief in their symptoms about three months after the ablation.
Recovery complications to monitor: For most patients, any discomfort associated with the procedure lasts for a few days. If pain persists, call your physician.
Follow-up care: Patients at the Weill Cornell Medicine Fibroid and Adenomyosis Program have a follow-up visit, either in person or via telehealth, two weeks and six months after the procedure.
Why Choose Weill Cornell Medicine for Radiofrequency Ablation?
There are many treatment options available to women who suffer from fibroids or adenomyosis. Treatment options range from medical therapy to surgery, with many other options in between.
The team at the Weill Cornell Medicine Fibroid and Adenomyosis Program is proud to offer the latest treatment options and provide personalized care for our patients. By getting to know and listening to our patients, we understand their needs, as well as their most difficult symptoms.
As one of the only programs in the tri-state region to offer radiofrequency ablation for uterine fibroids, we discuss the risks and benefits of this procedure extensively with interested patients. Our specialists carefully evaluate each patient to determine if they are suitable candidates for radiofrequency ablation.
Our team of minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons and interventional radiologists collaborates with other specialists in reproductive health, integrative medicine, and nutrition to help patients receive high-quality, personalized care.