A clinical review published in the April 2015 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine has recommended focused ultrasound as a vital component in the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids.
According to the article, more than 80 percent of black women and close to 70 percent of Caucasian women have this condition. In addition, the article discussed the growing usage of hysterectomy, accounting for nearly 75 percent of all treatment procedures. This overuse, however, has led to growing concerns. The article went into the alternatives available to women seeking to keep their uterus without the potential complications that may arise postsurgery.
“Uterine-conserving therapy should be an available option for women even if there is no plan for childbearing,” Mayo Clinic ob-gyn Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, author of the clinical review, said. At present, the prevailing traditional alternative to hysterectomy is myomectomy – a surgical procedure aimed at removing uterine fibroids.
Dr. Stewart added that while myomectomy is the go-to treatment, there are other available treatment options. One of her recommended options for managing fibroids is focused ultrasound.
A noninvasive and FDA-approved treatment, focused ultrasound uses high-intensity sound waves that destroy the fibroids without touching the surrounding tissues. It is a safe, outpatient procedure that allows patients to return to their normal activities after just a short recovery period.
Focused ultrasound was first approved as a treatment for fibroids in 2004. Since then, it has been performed on over 12,000 women worldwide.
Dr. Neal F. Kassell, the chairperson of Focused Ultrasound Foundation, expressed his support on the findings. “Women suffering from fibroids deserve access to treatments like focused ultrasound that enable them to get back to their lives as quickly as possible,” he said.