2 The condition, current treatments and procedure

2 The condition, current treatments and procedure

The condition

2.1 Uterine fibroids (also known as uterine leiomyomas or myomas) are benign tumours of the uterine wall. They can be asymptomatic or cause symptoms including menorrhagia, intermenstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure or pain, and urinary incontinence. They can be associated with fertility problems and miscarriage.

Current treatments

2.2 Treatment depends on whether the fibroids cause symptoms, and if the person would like to become pregnant in the future. For symptomatic fibroids, treatment options include medications, interventional radiology and surgery. Interventional radiology treatments include uterine artery embolisation and MRI-guided focused ultrasound. Surgery includes hysterectomy, myomectomy, endometrial ablation techniques and myolysis.

The procedure

2.3 Transcervical ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation for symptomatic uterine fibroids is done using general or regional anaesthesia, or sedation. A radiofrequency ablation device with an ultrasound probe at the tip is inserted through the cervix into the endometrial cavity. The ultrasound probe is used to visualise and target the fibroid, which is then ablated with radiofrequency energy. The aim is to shrink the fibroid and reduce symptoms.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)