Noninvasive Procedure Preserves Uterus

July 27, 2010

Israel has come up with yet another innovation in the field of medicine. On June 23, 2010, a spokesman for InSightec Ltd. Of Tirat Carmel, Israel said the company had received an expansion of its CE Mark certification for the ExAblate® system. ExAblate is used to ablate soft tissue as a treatment for uterine fibroids, benign tumors, and adenomysosis. ExAblate employs MrgFUS or Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound technology.

ExAblate was given new boundaries for its certification based on clinical evidence proving that this type of focused ultrasound is both safe and effective for treating adenomyosis. The body that certified ExAblate, KEMA Quality, says the new system offers a vast improvement for reducing the volume of uterine masses and the symptoms they cause.

Benign Growth

Adenomyosis consists of a benign gynecological growth of the myometrium that contains ectopic endometrial glands and stroma along with excessive cell reproduction (hyperplasia) of the smooth muscles that adjoin the area. The condition is accompanied by symptoms that mimic uterine myoma, for instance heavy periods, pelvic pain, and general enlargement of the uterus. Women affected with adenomyosis have almost no chance of conceiving a child.

In the past, commented Dr. Jaron Rabinovici, the Vice-Chair for Sheba Medical Center's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who hoped to preserve the uterus didn't have many options from which to choose. Hysterectomy was the only available cure. Medication offered only short-term symptom reduction but had many side effects.

Miraculous Conception

Now women have a treatment that not only allows them to keep the uterus intact, but is safe, effective, and noninvasive. But that's not all—it seems that women who have had the ExAblate procedure have been able to conceive and deliver healthy babies! Dr. Kobi Vortman, the President and CEO of InSightec said that the procedure had been used with great success for treating uterine fibroids since 2004, but that the expanded certification means that women with other conditions can also avail themselves of this miraculous treatment. ExAblate is an outpatient procedure and patients can already return to work the following day. Complications are said to be quite rare.

Both adenomyosis and fibroids are benign, non-cancerous tumors of the uterus. Fibroids grow inside, on, or just outside of the uterus. Fibroids can often be removed without the necessity for removing the uterus, while adenomyosis is a mass within the uterine wall and cannot be surgically excised without removing the entire uterus. ExAblate uses MRI along with high intensity focused ultrasound to thermally ablate fibroids and adenomyosis in a noninvasive manner. Surrounding tissues are spared. The system was approved in 2004 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating fibroids.

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