One in five women of childbearing age in the U.S. suffers from uterine fibroids. These benign tumors can adversely affect a woman’s quality of life, and when symptomatic, can be very painful and cause heavy bleeding; affect urinary frequency; create abdominal discomfort and distention; and can possibly hinder a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant.
St. David’s Surgical Hospital—a campus of St. David’s North Austin Medical Center—is currently the only hospital commercially offering a breakthrough fibroid procedure to women in Austin. This new minimally invasive therapy enables a woman to obtain relief from fibroid symptoms while avoiding a hysterectomy and keeping her uterus intact.
Devin Garza, M.D., a surgeon affiliated with the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, was the first gynecologist in the nation to pilot the use of the Acessa™ Procedure with the robotic platform as a combination therapy to treat fibroids.
The Acessa Procedure is a surgery performed under anesthesia, using small incisions and a special ultrasound to locate the patient’s fibroids with high precision in the abdominal cavity. Each fibroid is treated individually with safe radiofrequency energy. The goal is to reduce the size of the fibroids and, in turn, the symptoms they cause. The robotic platform, when used with the Acessa technique, specifically allows for increased ability to combine the excision and removal of very large fibroids, a procedure known as a myomectomy. A myomectomy is traditionally more challenging without the use of the robotic platform.
“This minimally invasive, combination therapy provides permanent relief from fibroid symptoms without a hysterectomy,” Thomas Payne, M.D., executive medical director of the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, said. “We are proud to work with a team of experts to establish the most comprehensive approach to fibroid treatment and to make this therapy available to other surgeons throughout the nation.”