Endometrial ablation is a procedure used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. This procedure is often performed in the office using a device facilitates the destruction of the endometrium (the glands that line the uterus and produce period tissue) to reduce menstrual bleeding long term. This procedure is often done as a less-invasive alternative to hysterectomy, when the uterine anatomy is otherwise normal.
Endometrial Ablation Q & A
Who Is a Good Candidate for Endometrial Ablation?
Endometrial ablation is designed to completely cease menstrual periods or to dramatically cut down on their frequency and intensity. This procedure stops periods permanently for about half of all women who have it. Endometrial ablation is best suited for women who have completed having children. Women who have very heavy periods, very frequent periods, or other problems of this type may be good candidates for endometrial ablation. Women who suffer from major pain during periods may have much less pain and blood during their period if they continue to have periods after an endometrial ablation.
What Is the Recovery Like After Endometrial Ablation?
After endometrial ablation, the recovery is fairly fast. Most people are able to go back to their regular routine after only a day or two.
What Are the Endometrial Ablation Techniques?
Minerva - Argon gas, radiofrequency and heat are used to destroy the endometrium in 2 minutes.
Novasure - Radiofrequency energy is sent through a device that is placed within the uterus. The entire cycle lasts only a couple of minutes, and it can be performed at any time of the month. Novasure can even be done during a menstrual cycle.
Hydrothermablator (HTA) - Hot water is used to destroy the endometrial lining. In this procedure, the scope is placed in the uterus. Water is then sent into the uterus, and gradually heated until it is almost boiling. The cycle takes around 10 minutes, and it’s ideally done in the time just after the period is over.
Thermachoice - A balloon is placed within the uterine cavity. It is then gradually heated until it is sufficiently hot to destroy the uterine lining. This process takes under 10 minutes in most cases. Thermachoice should ideally be planned for just after the period.
Rollerball ablation - the uterine lining is manually removed using a rollerball instrument. The lining is removed in strips. The time to complete the ablation with a rollerball varies based on the size and shape of the uterus.
Dr. Hutson typically uses Minerva or Novasure for her patients, as these procedures can be done in the office under local anesthetic. However, in some circumstances, she will use HTA or rollerball. Patients have been excited about Endometrial ablation as an alternative to a hysterectomy and 95% of patients are happy with their results.