Philips Launches Breakthrough Technology For Treatment Of Uterine Fibroids

Technology offers safe image-guided non-invasive treatment for uterine fibroids in women.

March 26, 2011

Goa, India – Philips, a leading health & wellbeing company, unveiled its breakthrough MR-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) solution called ‘Sonalleve’ in India today. Sonalleve offers a non-invasive alternative to the traditional treatments for uterine fibroids in women. It combines magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, with high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). The benefits for women include – scar-free treatment, no anesthesia, quicker recovery, more precise image guided treatment and only little stress. Sonalleve has tremendous applications in the non-invasive treatment of benign and malignant tumors.


The Sonalleve HIFU system was first clinically approved for the treatment of non-cancerous tumors like uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. Also called myomas, uterine fibroids aren't associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer. As many as 3 out of 4 women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives, but most are unaware of them because they often cause no symptoms. The doctor may discover them incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.


In women who have symptoms, the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids include heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged menstrual periods (seven days or more of menstrual bleeding), pelvic pressure or pain, frequent urination, difficulty emptying your bladder, constipation, backache or leg pains.


Existing treatment options for women included medication or surgical removal of fibroids. In contrast to the existing treatment options of surgery to remove fibroids, Sonalleve MR-HIFU from Philips offers women a quicker, non-invasive and precise treatment option. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, with the patient leaving the hospital the same day and almost fully recovered within a few days.


The Sonalleve MR-HIFU system uses safe and focused ultrasound waves to heat and coagulate benign or cancerous tumor tissue deep inside the body without damaging intervening tissue, and combines this with advanced treatment planning, guidance and temperature monitoring provided by MR.


Speaking at the launch, Krishna Kumar, Vice President and Business Head, Philips Healthcare, India, said, “The future of medicine in our view will be image-guided, non-invasive and without radiation, and Sonalleve represents the convergence of these 3 principles for improving the lives of women with uterine fibroids and people with malignant tumors. The launch of Sonalleve is yet another testimonial to Philips’ commitment to bring cutting-edge innovations to solve key healthcare challenges like tumors that face India.”


Launched at several leading centers around the world including the National Institutes of Health and the Johns Hopkins Medical Center in the US, the first healthcare providers to introduce Philips Sonalleve MR- HIFU system in India have included the Apollo Hospitals chain across India and Piramal Diagnostics, a leading diagnostic centre in India. Speaking on the topic, Dr Prathap C Reddy, Founder & Chairman, Apollo Hospitals said “I am really happy that such a technology has been brought by Philips – it is safe and radiation-free, and a boon for women with fibroids. Apollo will have this technology at all its hospitals”.


Speaking about the new treatment option, Dr. Bhavin Jankharia, Head of Radiology at Piramal Diagnostics and a leading radiologist in India, said, “The new MR-guided HIFU offers an extremely doctor- and patient-friendly treatment option. Philips’ Sonalleve HIFU is guided by magnetic resonance for three-dimensional planning of the procedure and offers real time temperature monitoring during the ablation to control the amount of energy delivered to the tissue by the HIFU machine. As the procedure offers negligible manual intervention, it allows experienced and qualified radiologists and sonologists to add Sonalleve to their existing MR equipment to offer MR-HIFU treatment. This will encourage more practitioners to gain knowledge of the treatment and hence increase footprint for the patient friendly MR-HIFU treatment in India.” Many more systems are on the anvil for introduction at hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centers across India.


On the occasion, Philips also announced the advent of Imaging 2.0 – a new era in Imaging – where the focus is on addressing key priorities of clinicians and healthcare providers i.e. delivering improved clinical value, patient outcomes and most importantly, improved economic value. Philips recently launched an entire new range of healthcare innovations to deliver on this promise of Imaging 2.0 including a whole new MR platform Ingenia, a new CT platform Ingenuity, the world’s first PET-MR, a new PET-CT platform with 3rd generation Time-of-Flight technology, an X-matrix platform with Ultrasound, a new D/R platform and a range of healthcare informatics solutions. Imaging 2.0 puts patients at the center of care and empowers radiologists and clinicians to integrate clinical information from various sources to make a confident diagnosis and discuss it with all the clinical partners on the case. Several of these innovations have been co-developed at the Philips Innovation campus in Bangalore. In the words of Krishna Kumar, “Most superpowers in the world got rich before they got sick. The same is not true in emerging powers like India, where the population runs the risk of getting sick before we get rich. Imaging 2.0 outlines Philips’ commitment to solve complex healthcare challenges of improving healthcare access and patient outcomes with improved economic value”.

For further information, please contact:

Moushumi Dutt

Head - Corporate Communications

Philips Electronics India Limited



About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs 119,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 25.4 billion in 2010, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at