Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Radio Frequency Energy Used to Shrink Fibroids and Reduce Symptoms in New Minimally Invasive Procedure

/PRNewswire/ -- 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. 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 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 test this procedure. The other centers are in California, Arizona, Michigan and Missouri. This 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.

Montefiore Medical Center encompasses 126 years of outstanding patient care, innovative medical "firsts," pioneering clinical research, dedicated community service and ground-breaking social activism. A full-service, integrated delivery system caring for patients in the New York metropolitan region and beyond, Montefiore is a 1,491-bed medical center that includes: four hospitals -- the Henry and Lucy Moses Division, the Jack D. Weiler Division, the North Division and The Children's Hospital at Montefiore; a large home healthcare agency; the largest school health program in the US; a 23-site medical group practice integrated throughout the Bronx and Westchester; and a care management organization providing services to 179,000 health plan members.

In 2008, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore was ranked as one of "America's Best Children's Hospitals" in US News & World Report's prestigious annual listing and also received honors in the magazine's 2009 edition. The Leapfrog Group lists Montefiore among the top one percent of all U.S. hospitals based on its strategic investments in sophisticated and integrated healthcare technology.

Montefiore is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the future through medical education and manages one of the largest residency programs in the country. Montefiore is The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Albert Einstein College of Medicine and has an affiliation with New York Medical College for residency programs at the North Division.

Distinguished centers of excellence at Montefiore include cardiology and cardiac surgery, cancer care, tissue and organ transplantation, children's health, women's health, surgery and the surgical subspecialties. Montefiore is a national leader in the research and treatment of diabetes, headaches, obesity, cough and sleep disorders, geriatrics and geriatric psychiatry, neurology and neurosurgery, adolescent and family medicine, HIV/AIDS and social and environmental medicine, among many other specialties. For more information, please visit MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor www.montefiore.org or www.montekids.org .

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