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Everything You Need to Know About the Acessa Procedure – A New Way to Treat Uterine Fibroids

Everything You Need to Know About the Acessa Procedure – A New Way to Treat Uterine Fibroids


July is Fibroid Awareness Month and to celebrate we’re spotlighting the Acessa procedure–a clinically-proven, minimally invasive, outpatient treatment (read: an alternative to hysterectomy or myomectomy) for fibroids of all types and sizes and in all locations within the uterine wall. To help us learn a bit more about this procedure, we asked Kim Rodriguez, the president, CEO, and co-founder of Acessa Health, to explain what the Acessa procedure is, how it works, and what patients can expect post-surgery.

DO YOU ENDO: The Acessa procedure is described as laparoscopic ultrasound, how is this different than a diagnostic laparoscopy (used to diagnose Endometriosis)? 

Kim Rodriquez: Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to diagnose and treat different medical conditions including endometriosis. It typically requires one or two small incisions in the abdomen where the laparoscope and other medical instruments are inserted.

The Acessa procedure uses laparoscopy and ultrasound to see a 360-degree view of the uterus to find and treat fibroids. The laparoscope is inserted into the incisions in a woman’s abdomen, and the physician uses this camera as a visual guide. An ultrasound transducer is also inserted which sends high-quality ultrasound images to a screen. The ultrasound technology allows the physician to find all the fibroids – even fibroids that are very small or hidden in the endometrial wall.

Using the laparoscope and real-time ultrasound images, the physician can precisely target each fibroid with radiofrequency ablation (heat), allowing the fibroids to be destroyed without cutting the uterus. The device targets fibroids directly, preserving the uterus and leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact.

DO YOU ENDO: What is the average recovery time for someone who’s had an Acessa procedure? 

Kim Rodriquez: The average recovery time for a patient who has had the Acessa procedure is three to five days. That said, every woman’s body is different, and recovery time depends on the patient. Because there is no cutting or suturing of the uterine wall, women usually leave the hospital shortly after the procedure using Tylenol for pain control instead of opioids. Women can go back to normal activities within three to five days, compared to the six to eight weeks it may take to recover from a hysterectomy or myomectomy. 

DO YOU ENDO: How long has Acessa been a treatment option?

Kim Rodriquez: The technology was first FDA approved in 2012 and the latest, third-generation technology, Acessa ProVu, was approved in September of 2018. More than 3,000 women have had fibroid treatment with the Acessa procedure.

DO YOU ENDO: Where can patients go to have an Acessa procedure? (Is this treatment option available nationwide?)

Kim Rodriquez: The Acessa procedure is being offered in states throughout the U.S. including California, Illinois, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, the Carolinas, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico with more locations being added each month.

DO YOU ENDO: Is there an age limit on who can receive an Acessa procedure?

Kim Rodriquez: While there is no age limit, our clinical studies were conducted on women between the ages of 25-55. 

DO YOU ENDO: What can a patient expect following the procedure?

Kim Rodriquez: Acessa is a minimally invasive procedure and recovery times are usually quick. While each patient’s experience is unique, women can expect to get back to their daily lives within three to five days, with little or no pain. 

Most women report lighter periods, less pelvic pain and less bulkiness in the abdomen. Some women continue to experience heavy periods for the first two cycles as the fibroids continue to shrink and disappear. Women see the greatest relief around three months after the procedure but continue to see symptoms improve over the first year.

DO YOU ENDO: The main symptoms fibroid patients should look out for include pain with sex, heavy bleeding, and pelvic pain. Are there any other red flags or symptoms we should know about?

Kim Rodriquez: Women who have a family history of uterine fibroids, especially black women, experience fibroids at a younger age and the fibroids tend to grow at a much faster rate. Women should monitor their fibroid growth closely with their physician.

In addition to pain during sex, heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, and pressure, women can experience difficulty with urination, constipation, as well as back and leg pain. 

Patients should pay attention to their symptoms and ask their physicians about location-specific symptoms of their fibroids. Location matters and not all fibroids are created equally. Because Acessa can see and treat all fibroids, in all locations (with the exception of those on a stalk), Acessa addresses all symptoms.

DO YOU ENDO: Fibroids have similar symptoms to Endometriosis. What should a patient do if she thinks she has both fibroids and Endometriosis?

Kim Rodriquez: Fibroids and endometriosis symptoms can be very similar. If a woman is experiencing heavy bleeding, severe pelvic pain, or other symptoms of fibroids or endometriosis, it is critical to make an appointment with an OBGYN. 

Only the physician can confirm what is causing the symptoms. Usually, medical imaging and other tests are needed to confirm a diagnosis of fibroids or endometriosis. During the Acessa procedure, surgeons may identify endometriosis and choose to treat with the fibroids.

DO YOU ENDO: Can a patient receive both Endometriosis diagnosis and fibroid treatment at the same time?

Kim Rodriquez: Yes, it is possible to receive a diagnosis for both endometriosis and fibroids at the same time. Both conditions can cause a lot of the same symptoms, although the conditions are different. They can also impact on fertility. We encourage women to take charge of their healthcare, ask questions, do their homework, and make an appointment with their OBGYN. 

DO YOU ENDO: Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Kim Rodriquez: Women wait an average of three and a half years before seeking treatment for fibroids! That is a long time to deal with heavy bleeding and other symptoms. There are other minimally invasive technologies, such as the Acessa procedure, that can alleviate fibroid-related symptoms without the need for a hysterectomy or myomectomy. Women do not have to suffer in silence. Don’t wait! Talk to your doctor today about your treatment options or find a physician who offers the Acessa procedure at

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