Endometriosis is a chronic disease  affecting the female reproductive organs that can be debilitating in 10% of cases due to the extreme pain it causes. This illness affects two out of ten women of reproductive age and the treatment involves invasive surgical intervention, which can leave scarring.

However, in a world first, Lyon’s Croix Rousse hospital is currently testing a treatment via ultra sound. The approach is far less invasive and leaves no scarring. This technique is already used to treat prostate disease in men and the procedure is performed the same way: via endorectal probe that targets and neutralises any painful nodules.

The patient safety agency has authorised this treatment for 10 patients with severe intestinal endometriosis. The technique brings hope for many women; however, it will not be systematic and will be employed on a case-by-case basis, after evaluation. To date, 4 patients have received the ultrasound treatment with success. The clinical trial is ongoing.

Gil Dubernard, Gynaecologist at Croix Rousse hospital first had the idea of using the Focal One® ultrasound machine. He explained: “The treatment lasts mere minutes and replaces the surgical intervention that lasts hours. The objective is to devitalise the endometriotic lesions.”

Indeed, patients are hospitalised the night before and can leave the next day instead of having to remain in hospital for 7 to 10 days, as is the case with the traditional treatment. Furthermore, patients can return to work immediately, where before they had to take between one and three months of sick leave.

Lyon-based company EDAP TMS, which developed Focal One® with HCL and INSERM is thinking up ways to make the probe more compatible with the female anatomy. This innovation could concern two thirds of women suffering with intestinal endometriosis.

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