Struggling from ongoing pain and discomfort from uterine fibroids? Know that you’re not alone — and treatment is available.

For some, these noncancerous growths of the uterus may not even be problematic, with zero signs or symptoms. For others, the benign tumors can grow rather large, resulting in a variety of symptoms including severe abdominal pain, pressure in the pelvis, urinary issues, constipation, and/or heavy periods. Although women can develop fibroids at any age, they are most commonly found between the ages of 30 and 50 and are often detected during a routine pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound. While the exact cause of fibroids is unknown, risk factors can include:

  • Age: Fibroids are most common during the 30s and 40s, and they tend to shrink after menopause.
  • Genetics: A family history of fibroids can increase your risk.
  • Obesity: Women who are overweight are at a higher risk.
  • Certain eating habits: Consuming excessive amounts of red meat can increase the risk while eating leafy green vegetables can lower it.

About the Acessa Procedure

A minimally invasive alternative to a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), Acessa is recommended for pre-menopausal women (typically under 55 years old) who are tired of living with uncomfortable fibroid symptoms.  Also known as laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation (LAP-RFA), the FDA-approved treatment essentially delivers heat directly into a fibroid in order to destroy its tissue and relieve symptoms.

After being prepped and taken to the operating room for anesthesia, your physician will make two very small incisions — one in the belly button and one below the bikini line — where they will use an ultrasound probe to locate each fibroid. Next, your physician will deploy the tip of the Acessa handpiece into each tumor using controlled heat to destroy the fibroid tissue, preserving healthy uterine tissue. Once complete, the small incisions will be stitched up, and most patients are cleared to go home within two hours. There is very little downtime — women typically feel ready to resume work and usual daily activities within 4-5 days.

Be sure to discuss any treatment options with your doctor. Rare but serious risks may include skin burns, mild inter-operative bleeding, post-procedural discomfort, infection, vaginal bleeding, blood loss, and complications related to laparoscopy and/or general anesthesia.

Say goodbye to prolonged periods and pelvic pain by calling Beaches OBGYN at (904) 241-9775 or texting “Acessa” to (904) 441-6725.