If you have been here before, you know that we think it is pretty important to educate yourself on all of your fibroid treatment options. If you are considering the Acessa® procedure as an option, you probably have questions. As you should! That is why we are providing answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Acessa procedure.
How safe is the Acessa procedure? Is it clinically proven?
All surgeries come with risk factors, but generally the Acessa procedure, also known as Laparoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation, is a safe and effective method for treating symptomatic uterine fibroids1 Actually, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been used for decades. It is commonly used in other procedures that treat conditions in the liver, bone, and prostate.
Not only has Lap-RFA been around for decades, so has the Acessa procedure! The idea to use Lap RFA to treat fibroids was first conceived by Bruce Lee, MD in 1999. The latest and greatest version of the technology was FDA cleared in 2018. Since the inception of the Acessa procedure physicians have performed over 4,000 procedures with 49 peer reviewed publications.2 So yes, you can feel confident that the Acessa procedure is safe and clinically proven.
Can the Acessa procedure be used to treat any type of fibroid in any location?
The Acessa procedure can be used to treat almost all types of symptomatic uterine fibroids, including subserosal, intramural, transmural, and submucosal.1 Only your physician can tell you what types of fibroids you might have, but here is a breakdown of what those fibroids are so it is slightly less confusing!
In addition to treating almost all types of fibroids, the Acessa technology incorporates laparoscopic ultrasound with guidance mapping, which allows your physician to have a full view of your uterus. That means he or she is able to locate, and ultimately treat, more fibroids than other standard imaging methods.3
Will patients feel symptom relief after the Acessa procedure?
Like with any surgery, results vary by individual. Most patients do see symptom relief, with the greatest effects 3-6 months after the procedure.1 In fact, 98% of women in a clinical study said they would recommend the procedure to a friend with the same health problem.1
Some of the symptoms that the Acessa procedure treats include extreme periods, stomach swelling or bloating, leg and back pain, stomach and pelvic pain, digestive issues, anemia, pain during sex, and frequent urination.1
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding due to your fibroids, here is a cool fact. Based on Acessa’s clinical data, the average reduction in menstrual blood loss was up to 103.6 mL less than baseline (meaning blood loss measured before the procedure) by 6 months.1 According to HealthLine, 103.6 mL of period blood is equivalent to reducing a period by approximately 20 regular tampons.4 Imagine all the ways you could spend the money you are saving on tampons or pads! Yes, please!
Is the Acessa procedure covered by insurance?
This is a question we hear all the time. Yes – many insurance companies and Medicaid carriers cover the procedure. Still, insurance is a pain in the uterus, and you do not need any more of that. We generally recommend scheduling a consultation to see if you are a good candidate for the Acessa procedure first. Then, if you and your physician decide to move forward, he or she will help you determine if the procedure is covered by your insurance and provide you with guidance on next steps. Here is a little information on what you could expect.
- Prior Authorization
Most insurance companies require that you or your doctor request what is called a “prior authorization” before they cover the procedure. In the request, your physician will describe your condition and explain why the Acessa procedure is right for you. The insurance company then reviews the request and makes a decision on whether or not the procedure will be covered. You will either receive an “approval” of the prior authorization, meaning it is covered, or a “denial,” which means the insurance company is not committing to covering the procedure. Good news: if you do get a denial, there is typically an option to appeal it. And you don’t have to do it alone.
- Insurance Appeals
If your Prior Authorization was denied, you have the option to appeal it. That means you can dispute their decision and ask them to reconsider. We know – facing an appeal while dealing with fibroid symptoms sounds daunting. Do not let it discourage you! Like we said, you do not have to do it alone. We have a team of insurance specialists who want to help. They, along with the physician offices, have successfully helped dozens of patients overturn denials. Although we cannot guarantee your insurance company will cover the procedure, we are here to help you try.
Sure, you probably still have questions. Ultimately there will be some questions that will need to be answered by your physician. However, we want to help where we can. If you want to know more, try reading more of our Frequently Asked Questions, or calling one of our Patient Advocate. She is dedicated to answering your questions and helping you find a physician trained on the Acessa procedure near you.
- SG Chudnoff, et al. Outpatient Procedure for the Treatment and Relief of Symptomatic Uterine Myomas. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2013;121(5):1075–82.
- Acessa Health Corporate data, proprietary system
- Levine, D. J., Berman, J. M., Harris, M., Chudnoff, S. G., Whaley, F. S., & Palmer, S. L. (2013). Sensitivity of Myoma Imaging Using Laparoscopic Ultrasound Compared with Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Transvaginal Ultrasound. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, 20(6), 770-774. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2013.04.015
- How Much Blood Do You Lose on Your Period Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-much-blood-do-you-lose-on-your-period
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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION The Acessa ProVu System is indicated for use in percutaneous, laparoscopic coagulation and ablation of soft tissue, including treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids under laparoscopic ultrasound guidance. The Acessa ProVu system is contraindicated for patients who are not candidates for laparoscopic surgery and/or patients with a uterus adherent to pelvic tissue or viscera. The ProVu System’s guidance system is not intended for diagnostic use. Please read all instructions for use of the Acessa ProVu System prior to its use. Safe and effective electrosurgery is dependent not only on equipment design but also on factors under control of the operator. Rare but serious risks include, but are not limited to, skin burns, mild inter-operative bleeding, post-procedural discomfort (cramping, pelvic pain), infection, vaginal bleeding, blood loss and complications related to laparoscopy and or general anesthesia. If you or someone you know has possibly experienced a side effect when using our product please contact your physician. Insufficient data exists on which to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the ProVu system in women who plan future pregnancy, therefore the ProVu system is not recommended for women who are planning future pregnancy.
Reimbursement information is provided for convenience only and is not legal advice or official guidance from payers. It is not intended to increase or maximize reimbursement by any payor. Hospitals and physicians are solely responsible for being in compliance with Medicare and other payor rules and requirements for the information submitted with all claims and appeals. Acessa Health, Inc. does not warrant or guarantee that the use of this information will result in coverage or payment. Before any claims or appeals are submitted, hospitals and physicians should review official payor instructions and requirements, should confirm the accuracy of their coding or billing practices with these payors and should use independent judgment when selecting codes that most appropriately describe the services or supplies provided to a patient. CPT five-digit numeric codes, descriptions, and numeric modifiers are © 2020 AMA. All rights reserved.