Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is a therapeutic technology that could transform the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with hydrosalpinx. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue.
How it Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound produces a couple of therapeutic effects that are being evaluated. One is to heat the tissue for an ablation effect, and the other is to do a mechanical destruction of the tissue. The goal is to accomplish this without damage and also to prevent the the reverse flow of material in the fallopian tube.
The primary options for treatment of hydrosalpinx are surgery that may include tube removal, which may cause future pregnancy attempts to be via in vitro fertilization.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications – such as surgical wound healing or infection – at a lower cost. Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue, and enhance chemotherapy dose for the target, with less impact to the rest of the patient. It can also be repeated, if necessary.
While significant work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology could be widely available.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of hydrosalpinx .
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for hydrosalpinx is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Harb H, Al-Rshoud F, Karunakaran B, Gallos ID, Coomarasamy A. Hydrosalpinx and pregnancy loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Biomed Online. 2019 Mar;38(3):427-441. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.12.020. Epub 2018 Dec 25. PMID: 30665848
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