Alternative Fibroid Treatments
The Acessa™ System Targets Fibroids Effectively While Sparing the Uterus
The Acessa System presents a new alternative for patients suffering from uterine fibroids. With the Acessa System, a woman may be able to shrink or completely eliminate her fibroids while keeping a healthy uterus, allowing her to quickly return to a normal quality of life without the potential long-term complications due to hysterectomy. Women have come from as far as Florida and Georgia to have this groundbreaking procedure with fibroid expert Dr. Nicole Williams. This alternative to hysterectomy fibroid procedure is laparoscopic, thus resulting in little scarring and enabling the patient to go home the same day. Best of all, the chances of her experiencing a recurrence of symptoms due to fibroids is extremely low. If bleeding is your problem, consider endometrial ablation. If minimally invasive hysterectomy is indicated, Dr. Williams offers techniques to allow for faster healing time.
Do I Have Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are benign growths in the uterus, or womb
Although the cause of fibroids is unclear, approximately 50% of African-American women and up to 30% of Caucasian women suffer from uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids tend to run in families
Signs and symptoms of fibroids can include very heavy periods, pelvic pain, feeling a mass in the lower abdomen, even infertility
Types of fibroids are:
Subserosal: immediately under the skin of the uterus
Submucosal: Inside the cavity of the uterus
Intramural: Inside the muscle of the uterus
Pedunculated: hanging off the uterus
The most common treatment for uterine fibroids is hysterectomy
Myomectomy, removing only the fibroids, can also be performed, but may require a large incision
The Acessa procedure avoids the need for hysterectomy by treating ONLY the fibroids, leaving healthy tissue intact
How are fibroids diagnosed?
Fibroids may be diagnosed with a routine pelvic exam. Usually, an ultrasound of the pelvis will confirm these suspicions. Other tests include hysteroscopy, using a lighted camera to see inside the uterus, or laparoscopy, using a camera to visualize the pelvic cavity.
Every 30 minutes, 12 hysterectomies are performed in the United States. According to a report published by Obstetrics and Gynecology, 9 of them may not have met the guidelines set out by the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists for hysterectomy. The Acessa procedure, a specialized treatment for fibroids, offers an effective, reliable treatment for symptoms such as heavy periods, pelvic and back pain, pressure, and sometimes urinary symptoms while keeping a woman's uterus intact.
There are approximately 350,000 hysterectomies performed annually in the United States with about 170,000 -280,000 due to uterine fibroids.
What alternative therapies are available for fibroids?
Medication, such as TXA, oral contraceptives, and Oriahnn
Injectables such as Lupron
Herbals such as DIM, Black strap molasses may help control symptoms but keep in mind they may not actually treat the fibroid itself.
Progesterone containing IUD
These have all been used with varying degrees of efficacy to treat the symptoms of fibroids, therefore avoiding surgery.
HOW DOES ACESSA WORK?
Studies show that fibroids do not have to be completely removed to resolve symptoms. Treating the fibroid cells so they shrink and stop putting pressure on the uterus may help to resolve symptoms.
The data in the IDE clinical study showed even a 45.1% average shrinkage in fibroid volume can result in significant improvement in heavy periods, pelvic pain and bulk.
To summarize, Acessa works by heating the fibroid cells from the inside out, not by removing the fibroid. Your surgeon will use ultrasound technology to find each fibroid that can safely be treated. Then a large needle called a handpiece is inserted into the fibroid and smaller needles are deployed to the measured fibroid dimensions. Cell tissues die when they reach a certain temperature. Acessa is designed to heat the fibroid tissue to the point that the tissue dies. The dead fibroid tissue shrinks and shrivels over time. The dead fibroid tissue is not harmful. It gets absorbed by the body, just like any dead tissue cell.
As a reminder, Acessa is a treatment for benign (non-cancerous) symptomatic fibroids. If patients are at risk for cancer, or malignancy, Acessa is not the appropriate treatment.
WHEN WILL I SEE RELIEF FROM MY SYMPTOMS?
The Acessa procedure is able to resolve many of the common fibroid symptoms including: extreme periods, stomach swelling and bloating, leg and back pain, stomach and pelvic pain, digestive issues, anemia, pain during sex, frequent urination.
What we've learned in our experience is that it can take anywhere between 3 and 12 months. We will monitor you with ultrasounds every three months during this time.
Based on our clinical data, the average reduction in menstrual blood loss was 87 mL compared to baseline periods after 3 months and reduced even further to 103.6 mL by 6 months.
Most patients see the greatest effects 3-6 months after Acessa.
However, results may vary.
What the Acessa procedure looks like during surgery
The results of the Overall Treatment Effect Survey of the pivotal study of 124 patients showed that 94% of the subjects responded that they were very satisfied, moderately satisfied, or somewhat satisfied with the treatment.
At 12-months post treatment, 98% of the subjects reported that they would probably or definitely recommend the procedure to their friends with the same health problem. When asked about the effectiveness of the treatment, at least 94% of the subjects responded that the treatment had been somewhat, moderately, or very effective in eliminating their symptoms.
Most patients report they have significantly lighter periods and alleviated pelvic pain and pressure. Often patients who experience “bloating”—looking pregnant having a distended abdomen from the fibroids, report reduced or eliminated bulk symptoms. However, results may vary.