Uterine fibroids are the most common cause of hysterectomy surgery, or removal of the uterus, with fibroids accounting for as many as half of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States each year.

But thanks to newer treatments and less invasive surgery, women suffering from fibroids can lose the painful symptoms while avoiding traditional hysterectomy and myomectomy surgeries. They have a quick recovery, getting back on their feet in just a few days.

Two minimally invasive outpatient procedures, Acessa and Sonata, use radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to treat fibroids. The fibroid cell tissues die when they are heated, causing the fibroids to shrivel and shrink, then eventually be harmlessly absorbed by the healthy surrounding tissues. Most women experience the most symptom improvement within three months and continued improvement for the first year.

Doctors offering the Acessa or Sonata RFA fibroid treatment procedure:

Charlotte-

Dr. Stephanie Barbadora-Froelich, Novant Health Providence OB/GYN - Providence

Dr. James Bohmer, Novant Health Minimally Invasive GYN Surgery - SouthPark

Dr. Tiffani Jones, Novant Health Providence OB/GYN - Providence

Dr. Gregory Reynolds, Novant Health Bradford Clinic OB/GYN - Matthews

Dr. Scott Schneider, Novant Health Minimally Invasive GYN Surgery - SouthPark

Dr. Hillary Robinowitz-Elins, Novant Health Harbor Pointe OB/GYN – Huntersville or Langtree

Dr. Jessica Van Kooten, Novant Health Harbor Pointe OB/GYN - Huntersville, Langtree or Denver

Wilmington-

Dr. Timothy Chase, Novant Health Glen Meade OB/GYN - Wilmington

Winston-Salem-

Dr. Joseph Barker, Novant Health WomanCare - Winston-Salem

Dr. Brianna Dix, Novant Health WomanCare - Winston-Salem

Dr. Haley Landwehr, Novant Health WomanCare – Clemmons and Winston-Salem

Dr. A.J. Lewis, Novant Health Valaoras & Lewis OB/GYN

Dr. Melissa Meyer, Novant Health WomanCare - Winston-Salem

Dr. Natalie Rochester, Novant Health WomanCare - Kernersville and Winston-Salem

Dr. Laura Ramsay, Novant Health WomanCare - Kernersville and Winston-Salem

Dr. Kayla Smith, Novant Health WomanCare - Winston-Salem

Dr. Edward Rives, Novant Health WomanCare - Winston-Salem

Dr. Jaleema Speaks, Novant Health WomanCare - Kernersville and Winston-Salem

Wondering if an RFA procedure is the right move for treating your fibroids? Your Novant Health OB-GYN can help address any questions you have.

In the meantime, here are answers to five common questions to help get your conversation started.

1. What are fibroids and what are their symptoms?

Fibroids are benign growths inside the uterus. They are a very frequently occurring condition, with as many as 80% of U.S. women experiencing fibroids by the time they are 50. Fibroids can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including heavy menstrual periods, cramping, gas, infertility, pain during sex, fatigue, abdominal pressure and/or trouble urinating. Fibroids can be as small as a few millimeters or as large as several inches. They are different from cancerous tumors and do not typically lead to cancer

2. What are the advantages of RFA?

RFA is a targeted procedure, so it destroys only the fibroids, while preserving healthy tissue surrounding them. It is an outpatient procedure, meaning you don’t have to stay overnight in the hospital. The average RFA surgery takes around 90 to 120 minutes, depending on the location and number of fibroids.

Dr. Elins
Dr. Elins

Dr. Hillary Robinowitz-Elins completes the Acessa RFA procedure at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center for patients of Novant Health Harbor Pointe OB/GYN – Poplar Tent in north Charlotte. She said it’s effective at treating the two most common types of fibroids – intramural (within muscle of the uterus), and subserosal (right under the “skin” of the uterus). Acessa can also be combined with hysteroscopic myomectomy, called Myosure, for submucosal fibroids (fibroids pushing into or already in the uterine cavity).

“Acessa provides more access as well as safer access to fibroids,” she said. “We also are avoiding painful uterine incisions, injury to normal uterine tissue, and avoiding a difficult recovery from traditional myomectomy.”