New York City, NY (January 5, 2010) - Montefiore Medical Center recently became the only hospital on the East Coast to conduct the Radio Frequency Ablation procedure to shrink uterine fibroids in women 30 years and older, as part of a national research study. This minimally invasive procedure, initially used to treat liver cancer, uses a tiny needle that is inserted into the fibroid, applying low energy radio frequency electrical current, which creates localized tumor destruction by heat.
"More than 30% of all women suffer from fibroids, which can cause excessive menstrual bleeding and pain," said Erika Banks, MD, Director of the Fibroid Center at Montefiore and lead investigator of the research study. "This procedure is another option for these women who wish to preserve their uterus -- an important advantage of this minimally invasive procedure."
Fibroids are benign tumors, which grow in the uterus. Fibroids are the most common tumor in the reproductive years, and are 2-3 times more common among African American women. Symptoms include heavy and or painful menstrual bleeding, a feeling of pressure in the pelvis, frequent urination, pain during intercourse, abdominal bloating and abdominal pain and/or back ache.
Montefiore is one of only five medical centers in the U.S. to participate in this research study. The other centers are in California, Arizona, Michigan and Missouri. The study is currently enrolling women with fibroids and heavy bleeding who no longer desire fertility.
Treatment of 235 fibroid tumors in 70 women outside the U.S. resulted in significant reduction of symptoms and improvement in quality of life for about 90% of women, according to Dr. Banks.