UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital is the first hospital in the state to offer a new minimally invasive gynecological procedure to treat uterine fibroids. It’s called the Acessa procedure and the first procedure using the Acessa ProVu system at St. Luke’s was performed by Dr. Jason Rexroth from Cedar Rapids OB GYN Specialists, PC.
The Acessa procedure, also known as laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation for fibroids, is an alternative to a myomectomy and hysterectomy.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies found that, by age 50, about 70 percent of Caucasians and 80 percent of African Americans have fibroids. Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow within the wall of the uterus. Fibroids may cause heavy or prolonged menstruation, abdominal pain and in some cases, there are no symptoms.
According to Acessa Health, Acessa ProVu – is a minimally invasive procedure that is able to treat most sizes and locations of fibroids laparoscopically – including those outside the uterine cavity and within uterine walls. The procedure uses fully-integrated ultrasound visualization and guidance mapping. Unlike myomectomy, the uterus is not cut or sutured.
Two small incisions are made in a woman’s abdomen and high-frequency ultrasound mapping locates each fibroid. The surgeon then uses a small needle array to deploy heat in the fibroid. The body then reabsorbs the fibroid tissue.
Acessa is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. Patients typically go home the same day, experience minimal discomfort, and a return to normal activities in three to five days. Other treatment options may require six to eight weeks for recovery.
“The first procedure went really well,” said Dr. Rexroth. “This procedure is a nice alternative to other more invasive surgeries, and it allows women to keep their uterus and find relief from their symptoms. It’s nice we are able to offer this procedure in Cedar Rapids and exciting to be the first to perform it in the state.”
To date, more than 3,000 women across the U.S. have had their fibroids treated with the Acessa procedure. Dr. Rexroth performed the procedure at St. Luke’s late last month.