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Will I be a good candidate for the focus ultrasound treatment?

By Anonymous February 10, 2010 - 2:38pm
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I'm 50 years old, had myomectomy about 10 years ago. My fibroids have returned and I've been experiencing extremely heavy period w/blood clots for about 1yr. Will I be a good candidate for the focus ultrasound treatment?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon - Magnetic resonance (MR) guided, focused ultrasound is a new technology and the full effects aren't known yet. The Mayo Clinic is one of the few providers offering this procedure. According to Mayo, the process obliterates tumors by focusing high-intensity ultrasound beams on the growths, raising the temperature enough to destroy them. The treatment is guided by magnetic resonance (MR) images. The MR scanner allows the doctor, without opening up the body, to see where the fibroid is and what has been treated and to monitor temperature changes inside the body.

The procedure lasts three to four hours. The patient lies on a patient table that fits into a standard MR scanner. First, the doctor identifies the tumor on images taken of the pelvic region. Then, the doctor will use a transducer to focus ultrasound waves into the tumor and heat a small spot in it to a temperature between 150 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Only a small spot is treated at a time and the process is repeated, usually about 50 times, until the fibroid is destroyed. The body gradually removes the dead tissue within a few months.

Patients need only light sedation to counter discomfort during treatment and should be back to full activity within one to two days. Patients may need over-the-counter medications to relieve pain after treatment.

It is limited to symptomatic women who are not interested in childbearing who have a few larger fibroids. It is generally not used for women with several smaller fibroids. You would need to meet that criteria to have this procedure.

Have we answered your questions? If not, let us know what additional questions you may have.
Take care, Pat

February 11, 2010 - 5:16pm
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