Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound for Uterine Fibroids

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Uterine fibroids are an important problem for women of reproductive age. Although hysterectomy has been the traditional treatment for fibroids, many women are interested in a less invasive therapy. Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a new technique for treating a variety of solid tumors. It has been tested and approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of uterine fibroids. The procedure is completely noninvasive. It is performed as an outpatient procedure and the patient can resume her normal activities the day following the procedure. Techniques of treatment of uterine fibroids are still being refined, but significant progress has been made in understanding some of the challenges for this new technology. Some fibroids are more responsive to the focused ultrasound; some fibroids are more resistant. Not all women are candidates for this procedure. Absolute contraindications include bowel that is in the path of the ultrasound beam, or surgical scars in the beam pathway. The procedure of MRgFUS is feasible, safe and becoming increasingly popular. Questions still remain particularly the use of this technique for patients desiring fertility, and what will be the long-term results.

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