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Obstetrics and Gynecology International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 194839, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/194839
Review Article

Radiofrequency Ablation for Treatment of Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Duckworth Lane, Bradford BD9 6RJ, UK
2Gynesonics, Inc., 604 Fifth Avenue, Suite D, Redwood City, CA 94063, USA
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Albert Einstein Medical Center, 5501 Old York Road, Philadelphia, PA 19141, USA

Received 13 June 2011; Accepted 21 July 2011

Academic Editor: Bharat Bassaw

Copyright © 2012 Siân Jones et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The use of thermal energy-based systems to treat uterine fibroids has resulted in a plethora of devices that are less invasive and potentially as effective in reducing symptoms as traditional options such as myomectomy. Most thermal ablation devices involve hyperthermia (heating of tissue), which entails the conversion of an external electromagnetic or ultrasound waves into intracellular mechanical energy, generating heat. What has emerged from two decades of peer-reviewed research is the concept that hyperthermic fibroid ablation, regardless of the thermal energy source, can create large areas of necrosis within fibroids resulting in reductions in fibroid volume, associated symptoms and the need for reintervention. When a greater percentage of a fibroid's volume is ablated, symptomatic relief is more pronounced, quality of life increases, and it is more likely that such improvements will be durable. We review radiofrequency ablation (RFA), one modality of hyperthermic fibroid ablation.