Endometrial Ablation – for heavy menstrual bleeding
What is Endometrium Ablation?
Each month, the endometrium sheds from the uterus during menstruation. Endometrial ablation is a procedure for women suffering from excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding who have not responded to other treatments and cannot or do not wish to undergo a hysterectomy. Some symptoms that women may experience include:
- Unusually heavy periods most months
- Enough blood loss to regularly soak through a pad or tampon
- Anemia from excessive blood loss
Endometrial ablation removes or destroys the uterine lining (endometrium); the ovaries and actual uterus are left intact. The endometrium heals by scarring, which usually reduces or prevents future uterine bleeding.
Various ablation techniques can be used in this procedure:
- Laser thermal ablation
- Thermal ablation
- A balloon filled with saline solution that has been heated to 85°C (185°F) (thermal balloon ablation).
- Normal saline (heated free fluid)
- Electricity, using a resectoscope with a loop or rolling ball electrode
Endometrial Ablation recovery
Recovery time for this procedure varies from a couple of days to seven weeks. You may encounter the following symptoms during your recovery:
- Small amounts of discharge mixed with blood. Watery discharge commonly becomes clear only after a few days, in some cases it lasts for 1 – 2 weeks
- Frequent urination
Because endometrial ablation destroys the lining of the uterus, the procedure is not for women who still wish to become pregnant or who were recently pregnant. Furthermore, women who have a malignancy or pre-malignant condition of the uterus are not candidates.
After having this procedure, most women will have a reduced menstrual flow and about half will no longer have a period. Younger women are more likely to continue having periods after an endometrial ablation and often need to repeat the procedure.
As with any surgery, there are risks involved with having an endometrial ablation. While these problems are uncommon, they can be severe:
- Accidental puncture of the uterus
- Burns to the uterus or the surface of the bowel
- Buildup of fluid in the lungs
- Sudden blockage of arterial blood flow within the lung
- Tearing of the opening of the uterus
If you suffer from excessive menstrual bleeding and would like to seek a solution, call us today to speak with one of our medical professionals or to schedule your appointment. We will discuss all of your options with you, explain the risks and benefits of this procedure, and help guide you in the right direction.