Health Headlines: Minimally invasive surgery helping women with fibroids

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Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 8:08 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Nearly 80% of women who reach the age of 50 will at some point have uterine fibroids. It’s a non-cancerous growth in the uterus that can cause pain and abnormal bleeding. But now, a laparoscopic procedure to shrink them and help women avoid invasive surgery is becoming more common.

Over the last few months, Tia Johnson’s life and health have taken a turn for the better. The mom of six is newly married and feeling great after years of struggling with discomfort and abnormal bleeding from a fibroid.

“It was nine centimeters. I was told it was the size of a baby’s head. And it was inside of my uterus, not on the outside.”

Johnson’s doctor suggested a medication that would put her into menopause and decrease the fibroid, or a hysterectomy, which could mean up to eight weeks of recovery.

“I could not imagine having to take off work for any length of time to have that done.”

But Doctor Latasha Murphy, who is an expert in minimally invasive gynecology, suggested a new procedure called Acessa. During the procedure, doctors operate laparoscopically through two tiny incisions in the abdomen.

Dr. Murphy explained, “We can pinpoint exactly where in the uterus we want to treat. And that’s the fibroid and limit the treatment just to the fibroid itself.”

When the device heats up, it causes the tissue to soften.

“Actually, during the surgery, you can see the fibroids shrinking right before your eyes.”

Johnson felt the difference almost immediately. Many women who have had fibroids can tell you that they can wreck a woman’s sex drive. But with the fibroid gone Johnson says, “Everything came back. So, my husband’s happy.”

Dr. Murphy says the procedure can be repeated if necessary in order to treat any new fibroids that develop.