Advantages of MRgFUS Over Surgical Treatments in Treating Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids are the noncancerous growth of uterus. Some regards Uterine Fibroids as the benign tumor inside the uterus or womb. In rare cases, uterine fibroids may turn into cancers. Also, they might cause you some health issues including- heavy menstruation, pain during menstruation, pain in legs and many more. So, it is better to treat them off. Uterine Fibroids can be treated with both medications and surgery. Surgeries are advised in extreme cases. MRgFUS is a solution to Uterine Fibroids. What is MRgFUS? MRgFUS stands for Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound. This is a non-invasive procedure. The procedure uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) thermal imaging system to measure the temperature changes inside the body. It is a new and FDA approved treatment of Uterine Fibroids. Since it is a non-invasive procedure, it preserves the uterus. This can provide relief from the pelvic pain and heavy bleeding during menstruation. How MRgFUS works? The MRgFUS is a special treatment where the patients may come back to routine activities within 3 days. It is performed in the outpatient services. The procedure involves an instrument known as Foley Catheter. This procedure is performed under the MRI scanner. In this procedure, a woman has to lay down on her stomach under conscious sedation. The Foley Catheter is inserted into the bladder to make it comfortable for the patients. An Ultrasound Probe is placed under the abdomen and the uterus. A water bath is used to increase the contact between the ultrasound transducer and the skin. It is also common to feel little cramps and pain during the procedure. It is the duty of the nurse to give the patient a proper medication during the procedure to make the patient comfortable. Then, ultrasound waves of high intensity are targeted at the fibroids. The beam is focused on the small regions within the fibroids. This causes rise and temperature of the region. Because of increased temperature, the cells die, hence, the cellular death of the fibroid. Post-procedure, the Foley Catheter is removed. After two or three hours of the procedure, the patient is discharged and can go home. Benefits of MRgFUS There are many benefits of MRgFUS. Some of them are obvious- It does not involve open surgery or hormonal changes. It is a non-invasive procedure and hence preserves the uterus, ovary, and cervix. The patient can be discharged within two to three hours of surgery and hence, an overnight stay is not required. The patient can return to the normal activities within a couple of days. Significant improvement can be experienced in case of heavy bleeding during menstruation. This also lessens the frequency of heavy menstruation. It improves the urinary dysfunction. It reduces the cramps and pain in the pelvic region. Risks associated with MRgFUS Although there are minimal risks within the procedure there exist some. There are both short and long-term risks- 1. Short-Term Risks Due to improper acoustic coupling, you may have skin burn and red patches. Blood clots because of prolonged stationary position during the treatment. You can experience high fever after the surgery within 24 hours. Consult your doctor in this case. You may see blood during urine because of the Catheter used to drain the bladder. 2. Long-Term Risks If a nerve is damaged, there might be prolonged or permanent numbness. Your muscles can become permanently week. There might be a sensory loss as well. MRgFUS success rate Research has shown that although the procedure is not very common, the procedure is highly successful. Also, 70 percent of women who have undergone the MRgFUS, experience improvement in their condition within first six months of the procedure. The longest period of relief after MRgFUS extends to 24 months or two years. Many women have also undergone normal pregnancy after MRgFUS procedure. However, no one can predict the future fertility after the procedure. Therefore, MRgFUS is an overall safe procedure to opt for. But, you must discuss the procedure before the treatment with your doctor.