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November 4, 2013
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Spire Parkway has invested in breakthrough technology developed by INSIGHTEC that uses MRI and high intensity focused ultrasound to destroy uterine fibroid tissue


Solihull, UK – 4 November 2013 – Lengthy hospital stays may be a thing of the past for uterine fibroid patients at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, West Midlands, where new minimally invasive magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) technology can now treat patients and return them home within just a day. Spire Parkway Hospital is pioneering this breakthrough technology in the Midlands, becoming the first centre outside London and only the second in the UK to offer the innovative treatment to its patients.


Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that affect around 40 percent of women at some point in their life. The growths are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and can vary in size. Their exact cause is unknown. Symptomatic women suffer from extensive and prolonged menstrual bleeding, anaemia, pain, pressure and often infertility. 


The most common treatments for uterine fibroids include hysterectomy, the full surgical removal of the uterus, and myomectomy, surgical removal of the tumour, both of which require painful surgeries, lengthy hospital stays and long recovery times.


The MRgFUS technology, which has now been installed at Spire Parkway Hospital, combines a high intensity focused ultrasound beam that heats and non-invasively destroys targeted tissue and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which visualises the patient anatomy and controls the treatment by continuously monitoring the tissue effect. MR thermal feedback, provided uniquely by the system, allows the physician to control and adjust the treatment in real time to ensure that the fibroid is fully treated and surrounding tissue is spared. The ‘ExAblate’ technology was developed by INSIGHTEC, a strategic partner of GE Healthcare, and is the first system to use non-invasive MRgFUS.


Paul Crowe, Consultant Interventional Radiologist at Spire Parkway Hospital, said: "For women suffering from uterine fibroids this cutting edge technology offers a totally non-invasive day case treatment option that can avoid the need for conventional open surgery. We are delighted to be at the forefront of this development and to have one of only a handful of dedicated uterine fibroids MRgFUS treatment units in Europe here in the Midlands. Moreover the technology offers exciting potential for future application in other disease conditions including various types of cancer"


Karl Blight, General Manager UK & Ireland at GE Healthcare, said: "MRgFUS is a non-invasive option for women suffering from uterine fibroids. It helps eliminate the need to carry out a hysterectomy and offers physicians a reliable, non-invasive alternative for treating women suffering from this condition."


Ron Aginsky, Vice President of Europe Market at INSIGHTEC, said: "We are delighted that Parkway Hospital has added focused ultrasound technology to the spectrum of offerings they can provide to women seeking treatment for symptomatic uterine fibroids. Thousands of women have been successfully treated and have returned to normal activity and work quickly, and there are increasing numbers of published reports of successful pregnancies among women seeking to preserve their fertility."


Uterine fibroids most often occur among women who are between 30 and 50 years old and in their prime working years, incurring high direct and indirect costs for healthcare systems and employers. In addition, nearly one in three women treated surgically for uterine fibroids had an adverse event, with approximately 7 percent re-treated within a year. MRgFUS is an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to return home the same day and back to work within one to two days.



Spire Healthcare is the second largest private hospital provider in the UK, with 38 hospitals and 11 clinics nationwide. The company is built on a heritage of almost 30 years’ experience running successful private hospitals and offers a full range of integrated surgical, medical and diagnostic services.


The company was formed from the sale of BUPA Hospitals to private equity company Cinven in 2007, followed by the purchase of Classic Hospitals and Thames Valley Hospital in 2008. Spire has since built Spire Shawfair Park Hospital (Edinburgh), the Montefiore Hospital, acquired London Fertility Centre, and Lifescan. Since Spire was formed, performance improvements have included:

  • Multiple Independent Healthcare Awards: ‘Medical Practice’ (2012) ‘Innovation’ (2011), ‘Risk Management’ and ‘Nursing Practice’ (2010 and 2009), and ‘Healthcare Outcomes’ (2008)
  • Increase in percentage of patients rating Spire ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ - from 87% in 2008 to 92% in 2012*
  • Increase in percentage of consultant surgeons rating Spire ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ - from 51% in 2008 to 78% in 2012*
  • Increase in percentage of employees who think Spire is a ‘great place to work’ - from 62% in 2009 to 78% in 2012


For further information please visit:


*Rating options include ‘excellent’, ‘very good’, ‘quite good’, ‘quite poor’, ‘very poor’ and ‘totally unacceptable’



GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.


INSIGHTEC is the global leader in MRgFUS. The Company, founded in 1999, develops and distributes a non-invasive therapy platform that is transforming medicine. INSIGHTEC is continuously expanding its applications ranging from functional neurosurgery to oncology and gynecology. MRgFUS is embraced by world-renowned physicians in more than 120 medical facilities who applaud both its clinical and economic value. The Company has received numerous innovation awards, among others from the Wall Street Journal and TIME magazine. INSIGHTEC is privately held by GE Healthcare, Elbit Imaging, York Capital Management, GEOC Hengtong Investment Limited Partnership and MediTech Advisors. For more information please visit:

Media Contacts:


Spire Parkway Hospital

Paula Naylor Tel: +44-121-704-5557 Email:

GE Healthcare

David Morris Tel: +44 (0)7920 591370 Email:

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