Questions about MR-HIFU

How does MR-HIFU treatment work?

MR-HIFU stands for magnetic resonance imaging-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound. During the procedure the patient lies face down in an MRI scanner, which generates three-dimensional images of the fibroid. These pictures can be used by the radiologist to direct focused ultrasound waves at the fibroid, to selectively destroy the growth and to monitor treatment.

Why is MR-HIFU so gentle?

It combines two techniques which do not cause the body harm or injury. You are perhaps already familiar with ultrasound from your gynecologist’s office. Magnetic resonance imaging is equally safe and aggressive. This procedure uses powerful magnetic fields that are entirely harmless to the human body. Patients are not exposed to X-rays during the procedure. When fibroids are removed using MR-HIFU, there is no injury to the skin as ultrasound is only focused deep in the tissue of the body. This method is therefore gentler and far less risky than other procedures for dealing with fibroids.

How long does treatment take?

The entire MR-HIFU procedure takes around three hours – depending on the size of the fibroids – and is entirely painless. You remain fully conscious during the procedure although you will be given a light sedative when treatment starts. It can generally be carried out on an out-patient basis. You can return to your normal activities the following day.

What does treatment with MR-HIFU cost?

As MR-HIFU is a relatively new method of removing fibroids you should discuss your treatment options and questions about the reimbursement costs with your health insurer and gynaecologist before any procedure for treating fibroids is planned.