Endometrial Ablation

When Is An Ablation Necessary?

An ablation is a procedure used to control heavy, prolonged vaginal bleeding. This type of bleeding can be sometimes defined as soaking a pad or tampon every two hours or less, bleeding that lasts longer than eight days, and/or anemia as a result of the excessive blood loss. When a patient fails to respond to other treatments an ablation may be a good solution. It is typically performed in cases where a woman has decided not to have any more children but when the patient prefers not to have a hysterectomy or when other medical issues make a hysterectomy inappropriate. An endometrial ablation procedure can take about 20 minutes and generally uses only local or spinal anesthesia, although general anesthesia is sometimes used.

To reduce excessive menstrual bleeding, doctors generally start by prescribing medications or an intrauterine device (IUD). However, if these treatments prove to be ineffective, endometrial ablation might be an option. During this procedure, the uterine lining, or endometrium, is destroyed (ablated) through any one of several different methods, including the following:

Endometrial Ablation FAQs

Although endometrial ablation is an outpatient procedure, some minor side effects after the procedure are common. These can include cramping, like menstrual cramps, for 1–2 days, a thin, watery discharge mixed with blood, which can last a few weeks, frequent urination for 24 hours, and nausea. It may take anywhere from a few days to 2 weeks to recover, although you can usually go home the same day.

Endometrial ablation should not be done in women past menopause, and it is not recommended for women with certain medical conditions, including:

  • Disorders of the uterus or endometrium
  • Endometrial hyperplasia
  • Cancer of the uterus
  • Recent pregnancy
  • Current or recent infection of the uterus

If you have further questions about whether or not you are a candidate for endometrial ablation please contact our office for a full examination and consultation.

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