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SightLine Health Debuts Focused Ultrasound Clinic in Atlanta

Innovative procedures treats uterine fibroids noninvasively.

ATLANTA, Sept. 1, 2007—Atlanta-area women with uterine fibroids now have access to a noninvasive, radiation-free treatment alternative. SightLine Health today opened Atlanta’s first clinic providing MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS). This state-of-the-art, nonsurgical treatment uses ultrasound energy to destroy abnormal tissue.

“Our gynecologists, radiologists and support staff are excited to bring this new treatment option to Atlanta,” said TJ Farnsworth, chairman and CEO of SightLine. “They have decades of experience in diagnostic technologies, ultrasound and women’s health and will ensure that each patient receives comfortable, efficient and professional care.”

Fibroids are abnormal growths within the muscles of the uterus. Although benign, fibroids often cause symptoms such as painful, heavy menstrual periods, constipation and lower back pain. They also can cause miscarriages or premature labor. Between 20 and 40 percent of women older than 35 have uterine fibroids, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

SightLine, a health care services company that gives patients access to emerging technology, has established some of the nation’s first clinics providing focused ultrasound. The FDA has approved MRgFUS for treating fibroids, the leading cause of the roughly 600,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States each year. Focused ultrasound technology currently is also being studied for treating cancerous tumors and other conditions.

During an MRgFUS procedure, the patient is placed in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit on a table outfitted with an ultrasound machine. Using the MRI to visualize the fibroids, a physician focuses the ultrasound waves onto them. This heats and destroys the fibroid cells. The procedure involves very little discomfort, and the patient can maintain constant communication with the physician performing the procedure.

The outpatient procedure takes only a few hours, and patients may return to normal activities within a day or two. By contrast, some common treatments for uterine fibroids require hospital stays and long recoveries. And, because it does not involve surgery, MRgFUS does not pose risks associated with infection or blood loss.

“Our Atlanta patients will benefit from our experience at other SightLine clinics and the research conducted in them,” Farnsworth said. “For example, our Houston clinic participated in a study that proved newer MRgFUS treatment protocols are more effective than older, more conservative protocols at relieving uterine fibroid symptoms.”

SightLine’s Atlanta clinic is located at 600 W. Peach Street, Suite 140. Women interested in learning more about uterine fibroids or scheduling appointments may call 1-888-4FIBROID.

About SightLine Health Headquartered in Houston, Texas, one of the country’s leading medical communities, SightLine Health brings patients access to emerging technology. It is one of the few U.S. companies offering uterine fibroid treatment with ExAblate technology, the only FDA-approved MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) equipment. SightLine is affiliated with dedicated radiologists and gynecologists with decades of knowledge in women’s health and MRI technology—a combination not found in other MRgFUS facilities. For more information on the procedure and on SightLine, visit www.sightlinehealth.com.