Dr. LeBlang explains how Magnetic Resonance (MR) guided Focused Ultrasound and uterine artery embolization fibroid treatments differ.
The MR guided Focused Ultrasound procedure is very different from uterine artery embolization. With uterine artery embolization, catheters are placed inside the pelvic arteries and then a foreign substance is injected into the arteries to cut the blood supply off. So if the fibroid doesn’t receive a blood supply anymore, then the tissue will die. It is almost like causing a heart attack to the fibroid. You cut the blood supply off; the fibroid will die.
With the MR guided Focused Ultrasound procedure, nothing is placed inside the body. When we heat tissue up, the tissue will die, and it turns out, if tissue is heated up beyond 60 degrees Celsius, which is like 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the tissues cannot function in that hot environment so they will die by itself. So it’s a different mechanism of killing the fibroid.
MR guided Focused Ultrasound kills the fibroid by heating up the tissue; the uterine artery embolization kills the fibroid by cutting off the blood supply.
There is also a difference in the recuperation period. Because you are going into the larger arteries in the pelvis, there is usually a 2 to 4 week recuperation period after the uterine artery embolization procedure whereas after the MR guided Focused Ultrasound procedure, you are pretty much back to normal activities the next day.
About Dr. LeBlang, M.D.:
Dr. Suzanne LeBlang, M.D., specializes in MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) applications. She is an American trained and Board Certified radiologist with an added certification in neuroradiology. Dr. LeBlang performed the first FDA-approved MRgFUS (Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound) case in the U.S., the only non-invasive procedure for the treatment of uterine fibroids, and has, as a single operator, done the most procedures in the country to date. She has extensive experience in treating fibroids including working with very complex fibroid cases.