Focused ultrasound surgery for uterine fibroids

Focused ultrasound surgery for uterine fibroids

When it comes to the matter of non-invasive treatment methods for uterine fibroids, Focused ultrasound surgery is a term that tends to come up the most. This particular form of surgery is a precise way to remove the benign (non-lethal or non-cancerous) growth on the uterus. However, not everyone is suitable to get this form of procedure and to that end; the gynecologist is going to recommend you Magnetic Resonance Imaging before the treatment.

This particular surgical technique is also called the focused ultrasound ablation. In this, first the MRI gives the surgeons precise location of the growth and when these positions are found, the transducer of the ultrasound apparatus shoots off precise sound-waves that are able to heat up and destroy the fibroids.

What are the benefits of Focused ultrasound surgery for uterine fibroids?

The benefits of FUSUF or Focused Ultrasound Surgery for Uterine Fibroids are as follows:

  • They remove the fibroids in a precise manner and to that end; the other symptoms like painful menstrual bleeding, pressure and pelvic pain are dealt with.

  • As compared to the surgical and invasive measures, this option is considered to be non-invasive.

  • This can be done on an outpatient basis. This means that the patient can leave the hospital that very day.

  • Once the procedure is over with, the recovery period is short and you can get back to your normal activities quickly.

Is this non-invasive surgery suitable for everyone?

No, this procedure is not suitable for everyone. In the following instances, the surgery won’t be considered good for you:

  • If you have multiple internal scars, then it is going to be hard to find a proper and precise pathway to the fibroids. The entire structure can get confusing and it works against the precise nature of the transducer.

  • In case the fibroids are large, the focused ultrasound wave is not going to effective. 

  • In case you are looking to get pregnant in near future, then this form of surgery is not recommended.

How to properly prepare for the procedure?

While preparing for the procedure, you need to take care of the following matters:

  • There should be no metal on you: As you are going to go inside the MRI, any metal that you have on your body is going to interfere with the magnetic field and in turn, the imaging is not going to be precise. To that end, it is essential that you remove any sort of jewellery before entering the MRI scanner.

  • You should shave your lower abdomen between your belly button and your pubic region.

Procedure: before during and After

Before the procedure

After you are properly prepared for the procedure, the following is what is going to happen:

  • Either intravenously or orally, you need be given a contrast dye. This die is used for the imaging that is done using the MRI.

  • You are also going to be offered earplugs. This is done because the internal of the MRI can get a lot noisy.

  • You will be given special stocking so as to prevent blood clots in your lower region.

  • A catheter is going to be inserted in your bladder so as to have a better look at your uterus.

During the procedure:

The following will take place during the procedure:

  • You will need to lie on your stomach on the MRI table. This table will move inside the scanner to initiate the entire process.

  • Now, focused ultrasound waves are going to be used once a proper pathway is seen through the scanner. This wave is to heat up the fibroids to destroy it. The temperature requires is going to be monitored and decided by the result on the scanner.

  • This process is going to take place repeatedly. With sound wave generator is going to take place for about 20 to 30 seconds. As there can be several smaller fibroids, a 100 of these are going to take place so as to be absolute.

  • Once the process is over, you need to talk to the doctor about any of your discomforts and the next step will take place pertaining to that.

After the procedure:

Once the treatment is over, you will need the assistance of a friend in order to get back home. Make sure that you make appropriate arrangements for this as you will be medicated during the procedure.

What are the risks of the procedure?

The risks of this procedure are as follows:

  • Skin burns on the abdominal region

  • Damaged tissues near the fibroids.

  • Temporary back and leg pain due to nerve stimulation

  • There can even be blood clots in your legs.

  • It can also affect your fertility.

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Dr. Madhu Goel is a well renowned senior gynaecologist and a senior consultant at Fortis La femme, New Delhi. She runs a private consultation in Goel’s surgery and Gynea centre and prior to being associated with Fortis; she was a consultant a Rockland Hospital.