Endometrial ablation is an outpatient procedure that eliminates the lining of the uterus. Ablation is typically indicated for benign conditions causing heavy, prolonged or irregular bleeding that does not respond to medical therapy or in situations where medical therapy is contraindicated.
An ablation is not a form of contraception and should never be performed in someone who might want a future pregnancy. The procedure is typically a short outpatient surgery and occasionally can be offered as an office procedure. Recovery is very rapid with little downtime. The vast majority of patients see dramatic reductions in bleeding and 60-80% see complete cessation of all bleeding. There are several methods of ablation.
Your doctor can advise you about the benefits and different types of ablative techniques.
Endometrial ablation is also appropriate for patients who experience:
While this procedure helps many women, isn’t recommended for everyone.
How To Prepare
Before scheduling the therapeutic session, your healthcare provider will take a thorough history of any diseases you have, allergies, or medications you are taking.
Once you and your healthcare provider opt for this procedure, they will discuss all of its aspects.
Standard protocols before the procedure include:
How The Procedure Is Done
During the procedure, your doctor will insert a slender instrument inside your vaginal canal to widen the cervix.
Based on the training of your healthcare provider and your preferences, one of the following techniques may be used:
Freezing (cryoablation) – a thin probe applies extreme cold to the uterine tissue, which destroys the cells and lining. To guide this procedure, your doctor will place an ultrasound probe over your abdomen.
Heated balloon – this time, your doctor will insert a balloon inside your uterus, which gets filled with hot fluid. The high temperature destroys the lining of your uterus, and the procedure usually lasts between 2 to 10 minutes.
Radiofrequency – your doctor will use a flexible device that emits high-energy radio frequencies that destroy the cells of your uterine wall within 1–2 minutes.
Microwave – the probe inside the uterus emits microwave energy that kills the cells of the uterine wall in 3–5 minutes.
Electrosurgery – to perform this procedure, you need to be under general anesthesia. Your doctor will use a device known as a resectoscope and a heated instrument to remove the tissues of your uterus.
Endometrial ablation has revolutionized the field of gynecology by alleviating the suffering of women with heavy menstrual bleeding who don’t respond to medications.
If you want to speak with one of our professional healthcare providers at Women’s Health Specialists about endometrial ablation, click on this link.