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New uterine fibroid procedure helping women reduce pain

At Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, a new minimally invasive procedure is helping women beat the pain from uterine fibroids, which are tumors formed from muscle cells and fibrous tissue.
While some women experience no symptoms due to the size and location of their fibroids, others may suffer back discomfort, cramping, bladder and fertility issues. Uterine fibroids, which are rarely cancerous, occur on the uterus or womb, said Dr. Allan Ruby, an OB/GYN doctor at the hospital.
Traditionally, fibroid treatment has included medication, surgical removal or a hysterectomy. But a hysterectomy eliminates a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant, and recovery can take weeks.
The alternative is a minimally invasive fibroid procedure using radiofrequency ablation. It allows physicians to shrink uterine fibroids, causing minimal harm to the uterus. Doctors make two small incisions in the patient’s abdomen.
Then a laparoscopic ultrasound scope is used as a guide to identify the fibroid locations and sizes. A tool is advanced into the fibroids, and finally, radiofrequency energy is delivered directly to the fibroid to destroy it and leave the surrounding uterine tissue unharmed. This treatment works on fibroids of up to 12 centimeters.
“The beauty of the technology is that the ultrasound component allows us to see and treat fibroids that are not seen on imaging tests such as MRIs or regular ultrasounds,” Ruby explained.
“Treating fibroids in this way is wonderful for patients because the procedure doesn’t surgically alter the uterus, there is a low rate of recurrence and recovery is so rapid.”
Once the procedure is complete the treated fibroids shrink over time. Patients report quick symptom relief, and a significant number have experienced a decrease in bleeding as soon as their first menstrual period.
Often women are returning to work and normal life in less than two weeks.
For additional information, contact Ruby at his Hazel Crest office at (708) 575-4415.

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