Endometrial Ablation

ExitCare ImageEndometrial ablation removes the lining of the uterus (endometrium). It is usually a same-day, outpatient treatment. Ablation helps avoid major surgery, such as surgery to remove the cervix and uterus (hysterectomy). After endometrial ablation, you will have little or no menstrual bleeding and may not be able to have children. However, if you are premenopausal, you will need to use a reliable method of birth control following the procedure because of the small chance that pregnancy can occur.

There are different reasons to have this procedure, which include:

  • Heavy periods.

  • Bleeding that is causing anemia.

  • Irregular bleeding.

  • Bleeding fibroids on the lining inside the uterus if they are smaller than 3 centimeters.

This procedure should not be done if:

  • You want children in the future.

  • You have severe cramps with your menstrual period.

  • You have precancerous or cancerous cells in your uterus.

  • You were recently pregnant.

  • You have gone through menopause.

  • You have had major surgery on the uterus, such as a cesarean delivery.

LET YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Any allergies you have.

  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.

  • Previous problems you or members of your family have had with the use of anesthetics.

  • Any blood disorders you have.

  • Previous surgeries you have had.

  • Medical conditions you have.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, as with any procedure, complications can occur. Possible complications include:

  • Perforation of the uterus.

  • Bleeding.

  • Infection of the uterus, bladder, or vagina.

  • Injury to surrounding organs.

  • An air bubble to the lung (air embolus).

  • Pregnancy following the procedure.

  • Failure of the procedure to help the problem, requiring hysterectomy.

  • Decreased ability to diagnose cancer in the lining of the uterus.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • The lining of the uterus must be tested to make sure there is no pre-cancerous or cancer cells present.

  • An ultrasound may be performed to look at the size of the uterus and to check for abnormalities.

  • Medicines may be given to thin the lining of the uterus.

PROCEDURE

During the procedure, your health care provider will use a tool called a resectoscope to help see inside your uterus. There are different ways to remove the lining of your uterus.

  • Radiofrequency – This method uses a radiofrequency-alternating electric current to remove the lining of the uterus.

  • Cryotherapy – This method uses extreme cold to freeze the lining of the uterus.

  • Heated-Free Liquid – This method uses heated salt (saline) solution to remove the lining of the uterus.

  • Microwave – This method uses high-energy microwaves to heat up the lining of the uterus to remove it.

  • Thermal balloon – This method involves inserting a catheter with a balloon tip into the uterus. The balloon tip is filled with heated fluid to remove the lining of the uterus.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

After your procedure, do not have sexual intercourse or insert anything into your vagina until permitted by your health care provider. After the procedure, you may experience:

  • Cramps.

  • Vaginal discharge.

  • Frequent urination.