Acessa Procedure vs. Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Although many believe that a hysterectomy –– the complete surgical removal of the uterus –– is the only available treatment, that isn’t the case. Other, minimally-invasive techniques that involve less risk, no hospital stay, and shorter recovery times than fibroid surgeries are also possible. Additionally, you may be able to retain your fertility if you decide on a non-surgical treatment method.
At USA Fibroid Centers, we specialize in a minimally-invasive, outpatient treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). However, we also believe that women should be informed of their full range of options to make the best treatment decision.
While exploring your alternatives to hysterectomy, you may already have come across the Acessa procedure. Here’s what you should know about UFE, Acessa, and the importance of making an informed treatment decision that is right for you.
What Are the Differences Between Embolization and the Acessa Procedure?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) and the Acessa procedure are both considered minimally-invasive fibroid treatments. Both are performed by specially trained medical providers as outpatient procedures, involve short recoveries relative to hysterectomy, and are highly effective at shrinking fibroids to reduce pain and other symptoms.
The Acessa procedure for fibroids is performed in an operating room with the use of anesthesia. The procedure is also known as laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation meaning that it uses heat to burn the fibroid.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization is performed in a clinic location as an outpatient procedure. The procedure is also known as Uterine Artery Embolization, meaning that particles are inserted to cut off the flow of blood and nutrients to the fibroid, causing it to shrink.
Key Points on the Acessa Procedure:
- Your doctor makes two small incisions: one is in your belly button, the other below your bikini line.
- Next, they insert a tiny camera and ultrasound into each incision.
- Using ultrasound imaging and guidance, your doctor can fully examine your uterus.
- They then place the tip of an Acessa handpiece into the targeted fibroid.
- Seven small needles are deployed from the Acessa handpiece into the fibroid.
- Controlled radiofrequency energy (heat) is distributed through the device to destroy the fibroid tissue.
- This process is repeated until all targeted fibroids are treated.
Key Points on the UFE Procedure:
- One of our specialists makes a small incision in the upper thigh, which serves as the entry point for a tiny catheter.
- Using ultrasound guidance, this catheter is threaded into the uterine artery that supplies blood flow to the fibroid.
- Embolic materials are injected through the catheter to block blood flow and nutrients to the fibroid.
Acessa Procedure Recovery
After Acessa, many women are able to return to work and most normal activities in only four or five days.
Your potential timeline to experience full symptom relief can vary. For some, this can take up to 12 months. However, most women experience at least some relief from pain and discomfort within the first three months.
Uterine Embolization Recovery
As with the Acessa procedure, recovery from UFE can vary. Most women feel better with each consecutive day and are back to normal activities within one to two weeks.
The length of time required to experience symptom relief varies. Some women report improvement of their symptoms within days, others within weeks or sometimes months.
Acessa Procedure Risks
Due to the nature of the Acessa procedure, there are inherent risks involved. Some of these are potentially serious and include:
- Pain and discomfort
- Skin burns
- An adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Injury to adjacent organs
- Urinary issues
- Vaginal bleeding
- Blood clots
Cost of Acessa Procedure for Fibroids
Although medical costs can vary by region and medical facility, the self-pay cost for an Acessa procedure typically ranges from $9,000 to $15,000. Many health insurance plans cover the treatment, though patient co-payment and co-insurance costs can vary widely. Because it is a more recent procedure, some patients may have difficulty obtaining coverage.
Considering Uterine Fibroid Embolization? Schedule Your Consultation With USA Fibroid Centers Today!
At USA Fibroid Centers, we specialize in Uterine Fibroid Embolization. UFE has been around for decades and is generally considered the gold standard in non-surgical fibroid treatment.
Because we believe that women should have convenient access to treatment, we offer dozens of clinics nationwide. If you have concerns about your health insurance coverage, we can help. Simply give us a call at 855.615.2555 to confirm your plan’s details.
To learn more about whether UFE is right for you, schedule an initial consultation online today. You can come to one of our state-of-the-art treatment centers or visit us online through a telemedicine appointment. Wherever we see you, we look forward to helping you take back control of your life!