provides a noninvasive alternative to surgical treatment of fibroids
eases symptoms that are related to uterine fibroids including pelvic pain, pressure, and heavy menstrual bleeding
This allows a rapid return to normal activities after the procedure.
This may not be a good choice for you if:
you have a very large fibroid or you have many fibroids
you have multiple abdominal scars making it difficult to find a safe path between the fibroid and the transducer
you want to optimize future pregnancy
Long-term effects on a woman’s ability to be pregnant have not been studied adequately but a lot of cases in which women had successful pregnancies after this treatment.
3 Potential Risks
Focused ultrasound surgery may result with potential risks, but rarely:
damage to structures and tissues near the fibroid targeted for treatment
burns to the skin on your abdomen
blood clots in your legs or deep vein thrombosis
nerve stimulation which can lead to temporary leg and back pain after the procedure
Other drawbacks include:
less data on fertility and pregnancy than with other fibroid treatments
less long-term data on safety and effectiveness than most other fibroid treatments
When you have focused ultrasound surgery:
you may have additional treatment if your symptoms return
you may have some fibroids that may not be able to be treated
4 Preparing for your Procedure
In preparing for your focused ultrasound surgery for uterine fibroids, you must follow your doctor’s orders. This test uses a magnetic field to create detailed pictures of your body.
Avoid metal objects for this may interfere with the magnetic field used during the exam which can cause safety problem or affect the quality of the MRI, this may also damage electronic items.
Do not use any pieces of jewelry or electronic devices inside the room.
You should tell the technologist or your doctor if you have any metal or electronic devices inside your body such as metallic joint prostheses, implanted electronic devices; body piercings, dental implants, artificial heart valves or cochlear implants.
This is an outpatient procedure. Your doctor will ask you to shave your lower abdomen between your bellybutton and pubic bone.
Before the procedure:
to inject contrast material for MRI as well as give you medications for relaxation and pain, you will have an IV line placed in your vein
you will be asked if you want to have earplugs because there will be tapping sounds and other noises
use special stockings to prevent blood clots
to improve the visibility of the uterus, they will use a catheter inserted into your bladder
Depending on the number and size of fibroid that you have, treatment time varies. You will lie on a table and each portion of the fibroid is heated using focused ultrasound waves or sonications.
This MRI will determine if the fibroid has been heated enough to achieve the desired results and monitor tissue temperature.
Each sonication lasts up about 20 to 25 seconds and mostly it will take about 80 sonications during a treatment. More sonications may be needed depending on the size and number of fibroids that you have.
You will be asked if you have a feeling of discomfort so that your doctor will adjust the medication throughout the treatment. You will need someone to take you home after the procedure.
Your doctor may recommend over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for discomfort, you may return to your normal activities after you got home.
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