Health Watch: Treating fibroids with heat

DALLAS, Texas -- Uterine fibroids can cause heavy bleeding, painful cramps, and sometimes serious complications during childbirth. Most women get them at some point in their lives. They run in families and African American women are more susceptible. Now, there is a new minimally invasive technique to get rid of them for good.

Twenty-nine-year-old Chanel Harvey whips up salmon stuffed with crabmeat, without any pain, now that her fibroids have been dramatically reduced.

"I think it's amazing. I never expected everything to just be normal, 'cause I've never had a normal period," Harvey said.

Just like her mother, Harvey experienced severe cramps and heavy bleeding because of fibroids, benign uterine tumors. She had a procedure to remove them, but they grew back. Hysterectomy was an option, but Harvey wanted to leave open the possibility of having children later.

Jessica Shepherd, MD, Gynecologist at Baylor Scott & White Health offered Harvey a minimally invasive procedure called laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation.

Dr. Shepherd said, "Radiofrequency energy is not radioactive, it's rather an energy that's delivered to the actual fibroid, and allows it, through heat, to decrease in size."

Heat is pushed through the device and destroys the fibroids.

"I think this is a major breakthrough for fibroid treatment and a surgical approach that allows women to resume their daily activity and quality of life," Dr. Shepherd said.

The procedure has changed Harvey's life. No pain, no heavy periods, no hysterectomy.

Harvey said, "Just to know that those options are still available for me, that I can still have a family when I'm ready."

Patients with fibroids should ask their doctors about the Acessa option for treatment. It shrinks fibroids by 40 percent, reduces pain, and reduces bleeding during periods. Go to https://www.goodbyefibroids.com/ for more information.