The Acessa™ Procedure for Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids

We have amazing news about a new treatment for fibroids. Dr. Jukes will be the first physician in Austin to use this new radio frequency ablation technology. The Acessa Procedure is a minimally-invasive, same-day (out patient) therapy for fibroids. Fibroids are destroyed by applying energy through a small needle array. The surrounding normal uterine tissue is not affected and the destroyed tissue may then be completely reabsorbed.

Fibroids are extremely common –up to 3 out of 4 women develop one or more fibroids during their reproductive years. Often, there are no symptoms. But for those women who experience symptomatic fibroids, these can be debilitating; it’s important to see a doctor to determine if you have fibroids and if the Acessa procedure may be right for you.

Uterine fibroids are growths within the uterus that can result in pain and discomfort. Fibroids are also called leiomyomas and are made up of muscle and connective tissue; they may range in size from being microscopic to being larger than a grapefruit. One important fact about fibroids is that they are almost always noncancerous, but still may need to be removed surgically in order to treat symptoms. The rate at which they grow is unpredictable, and a woman may have more than one fibroid at a time. Fibroids are very common in women of childbearing age.

According to the Mayo Clinic, as many as 3 out of 4 women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives. It is important to understand that having fibroids does not increase a woman’s risk of developing uterine cancer.

The Acessa procedure utilizes a technology called radiofrequency ablation, and treats each fibroid by applying energy through a small needle array. The surrounding normal uterine tissue is not damaged or otherwise affected. Over time, the treated fibroid tissue shrinks and may become completely reabsorbed by the body. Acessa is performed under general anesthesia, and only two very small (approximately ¼”) abdominal incisions are needed during the procedure – there is no cutting, suturing or removal of the uterus itself.

There are many treatment options available to women with fibroids. You will need to call your health care provider if gradual changes in your menstrual pattern occur (heavier flow, increased cramping, bleeding between periods), or if fullness or heaviness develops in your lower abdomen. There may be associated pressure or discomfort and occasionally interference with normal urinary function. Your health care provider can discuss the risks and benefits of the various treatment options available to you.