Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive surgical treatment that can effectively treat abnormal bleeding
Several methods are currently available for endometrial ablation. Conventional endometrial ablation removes the lining of the uterus with an electrosurgical tool or laser. This method effectively reduces bleeding in approximately 85% of patients, and most women return to work within 3 days. Risks include perforation of the uterus, bleeding, infection, or even heart failure due to fluids used to open up or distend the uterus.
A new generation of endometrial ablation devices is now available. Some devices destroy the endometrium by using heated fluid. Others use freezing temperatures to destroy the tissue. Recently, the NovaSure™ System, which uses a precisely controlled dose of energy, was made available for use in the U.S.
Women with heavy menstrual bleeding are good candidates for endometrial ablation.
Pre-menopausal women with heavy menstrual bleeding who have completed childbearing may be candidates for the NovaSure™ procedure. Your physician may perform diagnostic tests to rule out other abnormal uterine conditions, and your Pap smear and biopsy must be normal.
Answering “Yes” to any of the questions below may mean you are a candidate for this minimally invasive procedure.
- Do you regularly experience heavy bleeding?
- Does your bleeding last 7 or more days per cycle?
- Is your bleeding so heavy it requires you to change protection nearly every hour and to carry large amounts of feminine product with you?
- Has medication (birth control pills) failed to help you in your heavy bleeding?
- Do you experience fatigue, anemia, or embarrassing accidents due to your heavy bleeding?
- Does your heavy bleeding affect your social, athletic or sexual activities, or cause you to miss work?
- Do you ever avoid traveling or even leaving your home because of your heavy bleeding?
- Do you often bring an extra change of clothes with you due to your heavy bleeding?
How does endometrial ablation work?
The endometrial ablation procedure provides an effective and minimally invasive outpatient alternative to hysterectomy, while avoiding the potential side effects and long-term risks of drug therapy. The procedure uses precisely measured electrical energy delivered via a slender, hand-held device to remove the endometrial lining. The application of energy is intended to permanently remove the endometrium (lining of the uterus), to reduce or eliminate future bleeding.
Here’s a look at how the procedure works:
|Your doctor will slightly dilate your cervix and insert a slender wand through the cervix into the uterus.|
|The doctor then extends the triangular mesh device through the wand where it expands to conform to the dimensions of your uterine cavity.|
|Electrical energy is then delivered into the uterus on average for approximately 90 seconds.|
|The triangular mesh device is then retracted back into the wand and removed from the uterus.|
- Pre-Surgery Instructions (pdf)
- Post-Surgery Instructions (pdf)
- Endometrial Ablation Fact Sheet (pdf)