What is Curawave (MRgFUS) Treatment?
MR Guided focused ultrasound is a non-invasive, non-surgical, outpatient procedure that helps relieve fibroid symptoms and enables many women to return to normal activity in one or two days. More than 14,000 patients have been treated around the world since 2004. The medical device used for this procedure, Exablate, is FDA Approved for the treatment of symptomatic fibroids.
Curawave combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with focused high intensity ultrasound waves. Magnetic resonance imaging gives the physician a 3-dimensional view of the uterine anatomy and the fibroids. It also provides real-time feedback about the temperature and tissue changes that occur as each fibroid is heated with the focused ultrasound beam. High intensity sound waves are focused on individual fibroids much like a magnifying glass focusing the sun’s rays – only the focal point is hot enough to cause cell death. The surrounding uterine tissue is not heated or affected at all.
In depth information about focused ultrasound treatment for uterine fibroids is available at the INSIGHTEC Women's Health page.
Our team of highly trained consumer educators are also here to help. Our mission is to empower women suffering from uterine fibroids to take their health into their own hands by providing information to assess treatment choices. Reach out to us today - we're available by phone at (888) 44-WOMEN, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and online chat.
You Have Options
Curawave (MRgFUS) is the only FDA-approved, non-surgical treatment that destroys your fibroids and alleviates your symptoms
Am I a Good Candidate?
The following are general inclusion criteria for the Curawave procedure:
- Weight< 250 pounds and no contraindications to MRI scans
- Normal PAP smear within 1 year and no acute pelvic infection, uterine cancer
- Pre or peri-menopausal
- No severe anemia (HCT>28)
- Less than 6 fibroids with largest fibroid < 11 cm.
If you have questions about your candidacy, we're here to help. Please reach out to us at (888) 44-WOMEN or .
What to Expect with Treatment?
If you've been approved for Curawave (MRgFUS) treatment of your uterine fibroids, what happens next?
Before the Procedure
The night before the procedure, the lower pelvic abdominal wall must be shaved. No creams or lotions should be applied to the skin.
The day of the procedure, arrive approximately 30 minutes before the procedure. A Foley catheter is placed in the bladder and an intravenous line supplies fluids and light sedation to keep the patient relaxed and comfortable. The patient remains conscious and able to communicate with the treatment provider during the entire procedure.
During the Procedure
During the procedure, The woman lies in a prone position (face down) on the MRI table, with her head outside the chamber of the MRI scanner. The clinician obtains pre-treatment images to confirm that the bowel and bladder are not in the path of the ultrasound waves, and to check the position of the targeted fibroid(s). As the treatment starts, a low energy sound wave is used to check the accuracy of the target. This ultrasound wave has enough energy to be detected, but not enough to damage cells. Once the focus is established, treatment sonications raise the temperature at the focal point to 65 to 85 degrees Centigrade. Each sonication lasts 20 to 30 seconds and targets an area about the size of a bean (0.5 cubic centimeter). Between treatments, the tissue is allowed to cool down for about 90 seconds. During this interval, the clinician uses real-time imaging to view the extent and location of the targeted area. A series of these sonications are targeted to destroy most of the fibroid cells.
Women have reported feeling warmth on their skin or in the pelvic region. Some feel a "pinch" or something like a menstrual cramp during the heating cycle. The clinician talks with the woman to determine how she is feeling and describe what sensations are normal. The patient also controls a button that can stop the treatment if she experiences significant discomfort.
At the end of the treatment, the clinician determines the non perfused volume (NPV) or % of dead fibroid tissue. The dead tissue will gradually be reabsorbed by the body and the fibroid will shrink. Many studies show that a higher NPV results in improved symptomatic relief and decreased chance of needing reintervention.
After the Procedure
Following the treatment, a woman rests for about one hour prior to discharge. Patients may feel "groggy" from the light sedation but usually feel well enough to go out for dinner after the procedure. Only 10 percent of patients take over the counter pain medications for a day or two after the procedure as there may be some mild cramping. Occasional women have a low grade fever, usually as a response to the dead tissue. In one clinical trial women returned to normal activities on an average of 1.4 work days. Their fibroid-related symptoms were generally relieved within three months.
Follow-up in most cases is minimal, and women see physicians at their next annual check-up. More than 90% of patients recorded in clinical studies have reported symptom relief. Symptomatic improvement occurs as a result of fibroid shrinkage and defunctionalization as the fibroid no longer has blood flow.
Preserving My Uterus was a priority when deciding which uteirne fibroid therapy was best for me.
How can I get Started?
If you know you have uterine fibroids, and fulfill the initial criteria for Curawave (MRgFUS) treatment, you’re ready to get started. Most Curawave (MRgFUS) providers are physicians specializing in either radiology or gynecology. Depending on your medical insurance plan, you may need to be referred to the Curawave (MRgFUS) provider by your family doctor or OB/GYN. Curawave (MRgFUS) treatment for uterine fibroids is offered at 12 medical centers located in 9 states in the United States.
Our team of consumer educators can help you take the next step towards Curawave (MRgFUS). Give us a call today at (888) 44-WOMEN or use our online contact form.
- Incidence of Additional Treatments in Women Treated with MR-Guided Focused US for Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids: Review of 138 Patients with an Average Follow-up of 2.8 Years - The purpose of this paper is "to assess long-term outcomes of magnetic resonance (MR)–guided focused ultrasound (US) treatments of uterine fibroids."
- MRI predictors of clinical success in MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) treatments of uterine fibroids: results from a single centre - From the paper's abstract, the obejective is "to assess the technical and clinical results of MRgFUS treatment and factors affecting clinical treatment success."