Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with retained placenta. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling retained placenta to be treated without surgery. While there have been some human treatments, further research is needed before this can become widely available.
The primary options for treatment of retained placenta include surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a non-invasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- Focused ultrasound is non-invasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
A clinical trial is being organized in France to treat patients with placenta accreta who are having a caesarian section.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for retained placenta is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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Ye M, Yin Z, Xue M, Deng X. High-intensity focused ultrasound combined with hysteroscopic resection for the treatment of placenta accreta. BJOG. 2017 Aug;124 Suppl 3:71-77. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.14743.
Caloone J, Huissoud C, Kocot A, Vincenot J, Dehay C, Giroud P, Misery P, Allias F, Rudigoz RC, Melodelima D. Non-invasive high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment of the placenta: a preliminary in-vivo study using a simian model. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Nov;50(5):635-641. doi: 10.1002/uog.17350. Epub 2017 Oct 9.
Lee JS, Hong GY, Park BJ, Hwang H, Kim R, Kim TE. High-intensity focused ultrasound combined with hysteroscopic resection to treat retained placenta accreta. Obstet Gynecol Sci. 2016 Sep;59(5):421-5. doi: 10.5468/ogs.2016.59.5.421. Epub 2016 Sep 13.
Bai Y, Luo X, Li Q, Yin N, Fu X, Zhang H, Qi H. High-intensity focused ultrasound treatment of placenta accreta after vaginal delivery: a preliminary study. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Apr;47(4):492-8. doi: 10.1002/uog.14867. Epub 2016 Mar 6.
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