In full transparency, the following is a press release sent to SOURCE media from Tenet Healthcare, which owns both Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester and MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham.
WORCESTER – Saint Vincent Hospital is the first hospital in Central to perform the Acessa® procedure, a minimally invasive alternative treatment for women suffering from symptomatic uterine fibroids. Dr. Apurva Shah completed two highly advanced Acessa procedures to treat fibroids last week at Saint Vincent Hospital.
Fibroids are benign, non-cancerous tumors in a woman’s uterus that often appear during childbearing years. While some fibroids are asymptomatic, others can be very painful and cause heavy bleeding, pressure on the bladder or rectum, a distended abdomen, and a lack of energy stemming from anemia.
The Acessa procedure utilizes a technology called radiofrequency ablation and treats each fibroid by applying energy through a small needle array. It is designed so that the surrounding normal uterine tissue should not be damaged or otherwise affected. Over time, the treated fibroid tissue shrinks and may become completely reabsorbed by the body. The Acessa procedure is a laparoscopic surgery performed under general anesthesia, with several small abdominal incisions for a camera, ultrasound, and Acessa handpiece. There is no cutting, suturing or removal of the uterus itself.
“Women are looking for less invasive alternative treatment options than the traditional offerings, and we are excited to be among the first major health systems to bring this leading-edge technology to our patients,” added Dr. Michele Sinopoli, MD, MBA, FACOG, Chief of OB/GYN for Saint Vincent Hospital.
According to the National Library of Medicine, 70-80 percent of women in the U.S. will develop fibroids by age 50, and the prevalence is even higher among African American women. Fibroids may range in size from microscopic to larger than a grapefruit, and the rate at which they grow is unpredictable. A woman may have more than one fibroid at a time.
Saint Vincent Hospital offers comprehensive services designed to care for women throughout every stage in life and is dedicated to providing valuable resources and care for all women in the community. For more information about the hospital’s gynecological services, visit Women’s Health Services at Saint Vincent Hospital.
Acessa is a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure that delivers radiofrequency energy to destroy fibroids and relieve symptoms without damaging or removing the uterus. After treatment, the fibroids are re-absorbed by the surrounding tissue. Acessa allows the surgeon to treat only the fibroids, while preserving normal function of the uterus. Patients typically go home the same day and enjoy a rapid return to normal activities. Acessa is FDA-cleared for the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids. The Acessa procedure involves risks associated with laparoscopic surgery and general anesthesia. Interested women should discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor.