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LifeBridge Health > News Releases > New Procedure Uses Radiofrequency Technology to Treat Women Suffering with Uterine Fibroids

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For Immediate Release
1/8/2020
Sharon Boston
410-601-4350
svboston@lifebridgehealth.org
New Procedure Uses Radiofrequency Technology to Treat Women Suffering with Uterine Fibroids
Northwest Hospital Is First Hospital in Maryland to Offer Minimally Invasive Acessa Procedure
Randallstown, MD – For women suffering from the often painful and at times dangerous symptoms of uterine fibroids, a new minimally invasive approach using radiofrequency technology offers another treatment option with shorter recovery time, when compared to fibroid surgeries. 

Northwest Hospital is currently the only hospital in the state where the Acessa procedure is being performed to remove these non-cancerous growths. 

“Many of my patients with uterine fibroids have been suffering for years with heavy and long-lasting periods. Sometimes, their symptoms are so severe they bleed through their clothes and have such tremendous pain that they may miss two to three days of work each month,” says Dr. Danielle Shiller, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Northwest Hospital and the first doctor in Maryland to offer this new procedure. 

She adds, “Acessa now gives me a less-invasive option to myomectomies or hysterectomies, which are surgeries where doctors cut out the fibroids or remove the entire uterus. My patients report that they are very pleased with the new procedure and their results.”

Acessa is FDA-approved and is done laparoscopically, typically with two small incisions in the skin of the abdomen. Ultrasound is then used to find the tumors. Once a tumor is located, a needle is inserted. Heat inside the needle uses radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to shrink and eventually destroy the fibroid. Acessa is the first to use Lap-RFA on uterine fibroids, although RFA has already been used on the liver, bones and the prostate. 

Doctors can treat nearly all uterine fibroids with Acessa, no matter the size of the fibroids or whether they are located inside or just outside the uterus. At the time of the procedure, fibroids can be as hard and as large as a baseball or as small as a marble. Following the treatment, they can become marshmallow-soft before they finally disappear over time. Women usually report the most improvement in their symptoms within the first three months after treatment, although they may continue to see improvement through the first year after treatment. 

Adds Dr. Shiller, “The Acessa procedure is very similar to the minimally invasive techniques gynecologists have been using for years. Surgeons have a great deal of experience in this type of approach, so patients can feel assured about that. When compared to myomectomy or hysterectomy, this new technique also spares the uterus itself, as we are not removing anything.” 

Patients are usually out of the hospital the same day as the procedure and typically return to their normal routines in three to five days, compared to recovery time of several weeks for hysterectomies and myomectomies. 

It’s important for women to let their doctors know about their symptoms because in addition to discomfort, fibroid tumors can lead to anemia, cause sufferers to miss work and to need blood transfusions.

Uterine fibroid tumors are very common. Dr. Shiller says an estimated seven out of ten women may have fibroids, and some women may not even be aware that they have them. 

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, fibroids are most common in women between the ages of 30 and 40, although they can occur at any age. Along with heavy and long-lasting periods, other symptoms include pelvic pressure, frequent urination, constipation or back/leg pain.  

For more information about Acessa or to reach Dr. Shiller, go to http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Northwest/fibroids.aspx or call 410-650-0665.

About LifeBridge Health:
LifeBridge Health is one of the largest providers of health services in Maryland. In addition to Northwest Hospital, it consists of Sinai Hospital of BaltimoreCarroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, LifeBridge Health & Fitness, hundreds of primary care and specialty physicians throughout Maryland, and many affiliated health-related partners. More information is available at www.lifebridgehealth.org
 
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