At UCLA Health, we offer a revolutionary fibroid treatment that pairs MRI with special sound waves called high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). The treatment is called MR-guided HIFU.
While some women with fibroids still need surgery (hysterectomy) to remove their uterus, MR-guided HIFU provides a uterus-sparing alternative. It not only avoids surgery, but also needles and incisions for women who:
Schedule your appointment with a UCLA interventional radiologist today.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved MR-guided HIFU for certain types of fibroids. The treatment works most of the time it’s tried, safely destroying fibroids and relieving symptoms. That said, fibroids can occasionally come back and require additional care (a potential downside of all fibroid treatments except hysterectomy).
The benefits of fibroid ultrasound treatment include:
MR-guided HIFU can potentially treat the three main types of fibroids when they are small- or medium-sized. (Learn more about what fibroids are, including the types.) We can treat more than one fibroid during your visit.
To determine whether the treatment is right for you, make an appointment to see one of our interventional radiologists. These doctors specialize in therapy that relies on imaging. You will likely need blood work, a physical exam and an MRI.
Your interventional radiologist will speak to you about your:
Even when fibroids are the right size for MR-guided HIFU, there are cases when the treatment is not appropriate. Examples include fibroids that are:
HIFU treatment for fibroids takes place while you lay in a special MRI machine. The machine produces sound waves, which your doctor focuses on one small section of a fibroid. This process is like using a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays on a dry leaf to start a fire.
Targeted areas heat up beyond 100o F. This thermal ablation safely destroys the fibroid while sparing healthy issue nearby.
Throughout treatment, your doctor can instantly see the temperature at the targeted area. The doctor uses this reading to make sure the target gets hot enough but doesn’t harm other tissue.
Your doctor uses MRI to precisely target each fibroid and ensure it’s destroyed. MRI produces a 3D view without the use of radiation.
Our team ensures your comfort and safety throughout your ultrasound treatment:
At the end of your treatment, you rest in the clinic for a few hours so the sedative can wear off. You can go home once you’re cleared by the nursing staff. Before you leave, you receive written discharge instructions from your doctor, which may include recommendations for over-the-counter pain relief medication.
Occasionally, women experience some temporary shoulder or back pain from lying on the table. Some also experience cramping, similar to having a menstrual period. Most women can return to work and other activities a day or two after the procedure.