Dr. Madejski is happy to offer in office ablation of the uterine lining. This procedure is an alternative to a hysterectomy that is done for abnormal uterine bleeding. In the past, a woman would have to go to a hospital and receive anesthesia to have a global endometrial ablation – permanent treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding. Now, the great majority of our patients are opting for a convenient in office procedure.
What is endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation destroys a thin layer of the lining of the uterus. Menstrual bleeding will either stop entirely or is greatly reduced to acceptable levels. If ablation does not control heavy bleeding, further treatment or surgery may be needed.
Why is endometrial ablation done?
Endometrial ablation is used to treat many causes of heavy bleeding. In most cases, women with heavy bleeding are treated first with medication. If heavy bleeding cannot be controlled with medication, endometrial ablation may be used.
Who should not have endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation should not be done in women past menopause. It is not recommended for women with certain medical conditions, including the following:
- Disorders of the uterus or endometrium
- Endometrial hyperplasia
- Cancer of the uterus
- Recent pregnancy
- Current or recent infection of the uterus
Can I still get pregnant after having endometrial ablation?
Pregnancy is not likely after ablation, but it can happen. If it does, the risks of miscarriage and other problems are greatly increased. If a woman still wants to become pregnant, she should not have this procedure. Women who have endometrial ablation should use birth control until after menopause. Sterilization may be a good option to prevent pregnancy after ablation.
A woman who has had ablation still has all her reproductive organs. Routine cervical cancer screening and pelvic exams are still needed.
What techniques are used to perform endometrial ablation?
The following methods are those most commonly used to perform endometrial ablation:
- Radiofrequency—A probe is inserted into the uterus through the cervix. The tip of the probe expands into a mesh-like device that sends radiofrequency energy into the lining. The energy and heat destroy the endometrial tissue, while suction is applied to remove it.
- Freezing—A thin probe is inserted into the uterus. The tip of the probe freezes the uterine lining. Ultrasound is used to help guide the procedure.
What should I expect after the procedure?
Some minor side effects are common after endometrial ablation:
Cramping, like menstrual cramps, for 1–2 days
Thin, watery discharge mixed with blood, which can last a few weeks. The discharge may be heavy for 2–3 days after the procedure.
Frequent urination for 24 hours
What are the risks associated with endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation has certain risks. There is a small risk of infection and bleeding. The device used may pass through the uterine wall or bowel. With some methods, there is a risk of burns to the vagina, vulva, and bowel. Rarely, the fluid used to expand your uterus during electrosurgery may be absorbed into your bloodstream. This condition can be serious. To prevent this problem, the amount of fluid used is carefully checked throughout the procedure.
Cervix: The lower, narrow end of the uterus at the top of the vagina.
Endometrial Hyperplasia: A condition in which the lining of the uterus grows too thick. A specific type of endometrial hyperplasia may lead to cancer.
General Anesthesia: The use of drugs that produce a sleep-like state to prevent pain during surgery.
Menopause: The time in a woman’s life when menstruation stops; defined as the absence of menstrual periods for
Pelvic Exam: A physical examination of a woman’s reproductive organs.
Sterilization: A permanent method of birth control.
Uterus: A muscular organ located in the female pelvis that contains and nourishes the developing fetus during pregnancy.
Vulva: The external female genital area.