Tampa General Hospital and USF Health Team Offer Minimally Invasive Alternative for Surgical Treatment of Uterine Fibroids

Published: May 20, 2021

By Tampa General Hospital


The Acessa® procedure is a minimally invasive treatment alternative to hysterectomy for women who have symptomatic fibroids.


Tampa, FL (May 20, 2021) – Tampa General Hospital today announced the expansion of its minimally invasive gynecological surgery program with an innovative, same-day surgical treatment choice for women experiencing debilitating pain and fatigue caused by uterine fibroids. This treatment option may provide faster recovery and fewer side effects.

“This new procedure uses laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation to shrink fibroids and allows us to spare the uterus. It can be another uterine-sparing option for a woman suffering from this common condition,” said Dr. Emad Mikhail, a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon at Tampa General and associate professor and director of the Division of Gynecology in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. They can vary in size and number and are almost always benign. The most common treatment for uterine fibroids has been a hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus and sometimes the ovaries.

As a major surgery that involves removal of the uterus and potentially the ovaries, a hysterectomy also compromises a woman’s fertility. The surgery causes earlier onset of menopause and can also trigger significant physical and emotional side effects. Physical side effects include pain, blood loss, scarring, sweating, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and disturbed sleep, as well as several weeks of recovery. Emotional side effects can impact each woman differently and some women can experience feelings of sadness, depression and grief.

“With this new procedure, we only treat the fibroids and do not have to completely remove them to relieve symptoms,” Dr. Mikhail said. The radiofrequency ablation destroys the fibroid tissue, which shrinks over time resolving the symptoms. 

“Because it’s minimally invasive and there are only three small incisions, most women go home the same day and return to their normal activities in four to five days,” Dr. Mikhail said. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, many patients see the most relief in about three months. In a clinical study, 94 percent of women reported improvement in their symptoms.

Women with symptomatic fibroids can experience bleeding heavy enough to cause anemia, enlargement of the lower stomach, lower back pain, a feeling of fullness in the lower stomach area and frequent urination. “Fibroid symptoms can be disruptive and debilitating, particularly for women who desire uterine preservation,” Dr. Mikhail said.

“Radiofrequency ablation is used to treat conditions in the liver, bone and prostate. However, this is the first time it has been used to treat uterine fibroids. For certain patients, this treatment can be a good alternative to other options such as a hysterectomy,” Dr. Mikhail said.  To complete the procedure, the physician uses a camera, ultrasound and digital guidance mapping.

For more information on the Acessa ProVu system and Tampa General, contact the USF Health Appointment Line, (813) 259-8500.

Tampa General Hospital, a 1,041-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in
U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals, and one of the top 4 hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious 2021 Forbes magazine rankings – America’s Best Employers by State, third out of 100 Florida companies and first among health care and social organizations and 13th nationally in America’s Best Employers for Women. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal 2020 provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track.  As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost.  For more information, go to www.tgh.org.


USF Health's mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the Taneja College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, and USF Health’s multispecialty physicians group. The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News & World Report’s national university rankings than USF. For more information, visit health.usf.edu.