Information for patients
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What is Sonata?
Sonata is a treatment that shrinks uterine fibroids, using radiofrequency waves. This is done by using a specialised Sonata device.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous lumps in the wall of the uterus.
They are found in about 7 out of every 10 women of reproductive age.
Fibroids can be various sizes and in various locations of the womb.
Symptoms can vary from woman to woman, depending on the size and location of the fibroid. Your treatment will be decided based on your symptoms and it will not be the same for all women. Some fibroids do not need any treatment.
How can fibroids affect me?
Fibroids can cause different symptoms in different women. Most common symptoms include:
- Heavy menstrual bleed (HMB).
- Symptoms caused by pressure on the bladder. This can cause you to urinate more often, feelings of being bloated and pain.
- Subfertility (less likely to become pregnant) if the cavity of the womb is disturbed.
How can Uterine Fibroids be treated?
The most common treatment for fibroids involves surgery. Your Doctor will provide information for surgical options if you request this.
The two most common procedures are:
- Myomectomy – This involves removal of the fibroids only and the womb remains.
- Hysterectomy – This involves total removal of womb with fibroids.
These are major procedures with risk of certain complications and a longer recovery is needed.
Why should I have Sonata treatment?
- This is a minimally invasive procedure.
- There is no incision made with this procedure and the uterus is preserved. This can be carried out as a day case procedure.
- It can be done either as an outpatient or in the theatre, under local or general anaesthesia.
- Once you have had the procedure, you will be observed for a few hours and then you can go home.
- You can return to your normal activities within 24 to 48 hours, unlike the major procedures mentioned, where recovery can take weeks. This means you can return to work, or care for your children much sooner.
How do I prepare for my procedure?
If you are suitable for Sonata, you will have a detailed discussion about this with your Doctor. You will then be asked to sign a consent form.
It is important you do not have any food or drink from midnight on the night before the procedure.
When you come into hospital, some initial tests will be done before the procedure starts.
You will need someone to bring you into hospital and to pick you up after your procedure, as you may not be able to drive and we advise that you do not use public transport.
How is the procedure done?
- You will be given general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia (medicines used to numb your body during the procedure)
- The Sonata device is passed through your vagina into your uterus.
- The tip of the Sonata device has an Ultrasound probe, which helps your Doctor to find any fibroids.
- When your Doctor locates any fibroids, the Sonata device is held in position and radiofrequency waves are sent out, which help dissolve the fibroid over time.
- This is repeated to treat other fibroids, if any are identified.
How long will it take me to recover after having the procedure?
- You are usually discharged the same day.
- After being discharged, you can start doing your normal activities gradually over the next 24 to 48 hours. This will depend on your pain tolerance and you should only do an activity if you feel comfortable to do so.
- You may have mild bleeding, brownish discharge and cramps for the first two weeks.
- You are advised to take simple pain relief such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen at home. You must always follow the advice that comes with these medicines.
- You can return to your normal diet as soon as you feel comfortable to do so.
- Avoid using tampons, bathing, swimming or having sex for approximately 7 days. You can shower in the first 24 hours after your procedure and this helps to avoid infection.
- After your procedure, you may pass some tissue from your vagina. This is normal and it is what remains of the fibroid.
How will this procedure help me?
Most women have relief from their symptoms over 2 to 3 cycles. Some may take longer.
There is a chance you may need further treatment for your symptoms, but this is rare.
Are there any side effects that I should know about?
Common side effects include:
Will I have follow-up treatment after my procedure?
You will be seen by your Gynaecologist 3 months after having this procedure. Your Gynaecologist will review your symptoms and ask you if there have been any improvements.
What should I do if I have any side effects?
If you experience excessive bleeding, pain, foul discharge, fever, nausea and vomiting, visit your GP or go to Surgical Decisions Unit (SDU) at the hospital within a week.
Surgical Decisions Unit
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Telephone: 01642 624566
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
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Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
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Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1384
Date for review: 13 July 2025