Acessa vs. UFE: Which Procedure Is Right for You?

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) has been the best non-surgical treatment for uterine fibroids for over 25 years. It’s recognized as safe and effective by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), is FDA-approved, and has helped countless women experience relief from fibroid symptoms without impacting their fertility. 

But today women have even more options, including an innovative treatment system called Acessa™. The Acessa™ System was cleared for use in the U.S. to treat uterine fibroids in 2012. Acessa™ is a surgical procedure for fibroids, but it’s less invasive than a hysterectomy. 

If you’re trying to decide how to get fibroid relief, both the Acessa™ procedure and Uterine Fibroid Embolism are worth considering. However, while they both are less invasive than a hysterectomy, the actual procedures are very different. It’s important to understand what each procedure involves and what you should expect in the long term so you can make the best decision for your health. 

What Is the Acessa™ Procedure?

Acessa™ refers to the medical technology system and procedure developed by Halt Medical, Inc., in Brentwood CA, to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids. The Acessa™ procedure involves a technique known as laparoscopic radio-frequency ablation (RFA). 

How the Acessa™ fibroid treatment works:

  • A surgeon will make two small incisions in the abdominal area.
  • A laparoscope — which is a very small camera — and ultrasound are used to find the fibroids. 
  • The surgeon will use the radiofrequency ablation handpiece to transmit high heat to the targeted fibroid, destroying the tissue.

The procedure is repeated until all the fibroids are destroyed. Because of the nature of RFA, Acessa™ isn’t a good option for very large fibroids.  

What Is the UFE Procedure?

A UFE is a non-surgical procedure for uterine fibroids. The procedure is short and doesn’t involve anesthesia or scarring. 

How the UFE procedure works:

  • Your doctor uses a technique known as fibroid mapping to locate the fibroids and the arteries supplying blood to them. 
  • They make a small incision in your upper thigh or wrist to insert a tiny catheter, which travels to the uterine artery. 
  • Microparticles are injected into the small arteries supplying oxygenated blood to the fibroid. 
  • These microparticles block the flow of blood to the fibroid, causing it to shrink and die. 

With UFE, all fibroids are treated simultaneously, so you don’t have to worry about undetected fibroids causing symptoms after the procedure is done. UFE can treat fibroids of any size.


Acessa™ vs. UFE — Key Differences You Should Know

When researching what patients are saying in reviews for Acessa™ fibroid treatments and Uterine Fibroid Embolization, you’ll notice that women’s experiences during and after the procedure differ. These differences can impact how you feel after your fibroid treatment, the costs of care, and your health. 

Here are common questions that will help you better understand how the Acessa™ fibroids treatment and UFE compare.

Acessa vs. UFE Recovery Time

Acessa™ and UFE can alleviate fibroid symptoms without requiring surgery to remove the uterus. But how long it takes to experience symptom relief varies.  

Acessa Procedure Recovery

After Acessa™, many women are able to return to light activities in four or five days. Some may require a week or more to recover and return to work. 

Experiencing full symptom relief can take up to 12 months. However, most women experience at least some relief from pain and discomfort within the first three to six 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 vs. Uterine Fibroid Embolization Risks 

Due to the nature of the Acessa™ procedure, there are inherent risks. 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
  • Infection
  • Blood clots

Because UFE is a non-surgical procedure, there are fewer risks involved. There is a slight risk of infection around the fibroid tissue or damage to the uterus. However, when an experience fibroid specialist performs the UFE procedure, even these small risks decrease. 

Cost of the Acessa Procedure for Fibroids vs. UFE

Although medical costs can vary by region and medical facility, the self-pay cost for an Acessa™ fibroid treatment typically costs thousands more than a UFE procedure, because it usually requires anesthesia and is done in a hospital setting. Many health insurance plans cover the treatment. Because it is a more recent procedure, some patients may have difficulty obtaining coverage.

Most insurance providers cover the UFE procedure cost for women who have symptomatic fibroids. That includes Medicare and Medicaid. UFE is more affordable because it is done as an outpatient procedure and is less invasive.  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.

Talk to a Fibroid Specialist at 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. 

To learn more about whether UFE is right for you, schedule an initial consultation online or call 855.615.2555. You can come to one of our state-of-the-art treatment centers or visit us online through a telemedicine appointment. Our skilled interventional radiologists have been treating women with uterine fibroids for years and can help you take back control of your life!

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Don’t Suffer Another Day

Life with fibroids can be painful and challenging. Timely detection and treatment of fibroids can relieve symptoms, as well as reduce your risk for hysterectomy.

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