Here you are, on your journey to fibroid relief (CONGRATS!) On the way, you have taught yourself all about fibroids, and you got the 411 on fibroid treatment options. Still, you are thinking, “what is the deal with the Acessa® procedure, and why does it sound too good to be true?”
Assuming we guessed your thoughts correctly, and you are not actually daydreaming about lunch at your favorite taco place (although we would not blame you) then good news! We are here to explain it.
What is the Acessa procedure?
The Acessa procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to hysterectomy and myomectomy for treating symptomatic uterine fibroids. The Acessa system was designed to maintain the integrity of the uterus by focusing treatment solely on the fibroid1,2 but most importantly to relieve the symptoms you have come to know (and hate) that are caused by fibroids.2,3,6
You know the ones: long and painful periods, heavy bleeding, stomach and pelvic pain, fatigue, bloating, frequent urination, pain during sex, etc.
Acessa, also known as laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation (Lap–RFA) is an outpatient procedure (meaning you go home that day) performed under general anesthesia (you will be asleep.) It utilizes radiofrequency ablation (heat) under laparoscopic ultrasound guidance to shrink the fibroid without disrupting normal uterine tissue.4
What makes the Acessa procedure unique?
Basically, the Acessa technology allows for a more thorough and less invasive method of treating your uterine fibroids. The Acessa ProVu® system (the latest version of the technology) is integrated with these tools that make Acessa, Acessa.
- Ultrasound Probe – Our ultrasound probe allows physicians to locate almost all fibroids lingering around your uterus.6 Picture ultrasonic vision, but specifically for fibroids. Plus, the more fibroids your physician sees, the more they can treat. Research indicates that laparoscopic ultrasound locates the most fibroids regardless of size or type when compared to CE-MRI and transvaginal ultrasound.4
- Acessa Handpiece – Physicians use the handpiece to deploy controlled radiofrequency energy (heat) that destroys fibroid tissue, without destroying the uterine lining.2 The heat changes the consistency of the fibroid from hard, like a baseball to soft, like a marshmallow.2,5 But how will my symptoms go away if the fibroid is still there? Actually, studies show that fibroids do not have to be completely removed to resolve symptoms.6,7 Treating the fibroid cells so they shrink and stop putting pressure on the uterus can help resolve symptoms. And don’t worry, just like any dead tissue cell, it gets absorbed by the body and is not harmful.8
- Guidance Mapping – This provides visual cues for physicians to ensure safe and thorough treatment of fibroids, and only fibroids, and allows for a full view of your uterus. Imagine GPS for your uterus.
Okay, Keep Talking..
Trust us, there is way more to learn about Acessa if you are interested. Plus, we have plenty of resources available to help you with the next steps in determining if the Acessa procedure is right for you. Of course, this is a decision you should make with your physician. He or she can help you weigh the risks and benefits to determine if the Acessa procedure is the best option for you.
- Check out our physician finder
- Seriously – it could not be easier. Add your location and find the closest physicians to you. Plus, we have provided brief biographies for the physicians, which should help give you some peace of mind in a stressful situation.
- Call Shanett, our real life (as in, not a robot on the other end) patient advocate
- If you have questions about the procedure or you are not sure what your next step should be – give her a call at 866-402-6537
- Watch this 11-minute patient journey video
- Instead of the 11 minutes you would normally spend scrolling through TikTok (or is that just us) watch this video. You will follow Rosemarie, an Acessa patient, on her treatment journey from start to finish. From her pre-op appointment, all the way through to a month after her surgery date!
- Yelena Havryliuk, MD, Robert Setton, MD, John Carlow, EdD, MPH, Barry D. Shaktman, MD, Management of symptomatic fibroids: review and meta-analysis of the literature (2006—2016), Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, Vol. 21 (3) Jul—Sept 2017
- Lee BB, Yu SP. Radiofrequency Ablation of Uterine Fibroids: a Review. Curr Obstet Gynecol Rep. 2016;5(4):318—324. doi:10.1007/s13669—016—0183—x
- Leteo Lin, MD, Haocheng Ma, MD, Jian Wang, MD, Haitao Guan, MD, Min Yang, MD, Xiaoqiang Tong, MD and Yinghua Zou, MD. Quality of life, adverse events and reintervention outcomes after radiofrequency ablation for symptomatic uterine fibroids: a meta-analysis. J Minim Invasive Gynecol 2019;26(3):409—416. Doi:10.1016/j.jmig.2018.09.772: PMID: 30253997
- 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
- Leppert PC, Jayes FL, Segars JH. The extracellular matrix contributes to mechanotransduction in uterine fib oids. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2014;2014:783289. doi: 10.1155/2014/783289
- SG Chudnoff, et al. Outpatient Procedure for the Treatment and Relief of Symptomatic Uterine Myomas. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2013;121(5):1075–82
- Linda D Bradley, MD, Resad P. Pasic, MD, Larry E Miller, PhD. Clinical Performance of Radiofrequency Ablation for Treatment of Uterine Fibroids: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A 2019 Nov 8; doi:10.1089/lap.2019.0550
- Acessa ProVu Instructions for Use, ProVu Users Guide PL-01-0040
WEB-01138 Rev 001 ©2020 Hologic, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Hologic, Acessa ProVu, The Science of Sure and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Hologic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries
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.
Acessa Health encourages patients to seek medical attention for typical and atypical symptoms associated with fibroids to help achieve and maintain good health with as high a quality of life as possible. Although many patients may benefit from the Acessa procedure, this treatment is not for everyone and results may vary. You should talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks and whether this treatment is right for you. Information contained on this site is not to be used as a substitute for talking to your doctor. You should always talk to your doctor bout diagnosis and treatment information.