Endometrial ablation is a general term for any technique that removes or destroys the endometrium (lining of the uterine cavity). There are many different techniques for performing endometrial ablation. Serving Greater Boston communities, the gynecologic surgeons at Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s MIGS center employ a variety of endometrial ablation techniques, depending on each individual patient's specific needs.
- Rollerball endometrial ablation uses a heated ball to burn the endometrium under direct visualization with a hysteroscope. Other uterine lesions, such as polyps and fibroids can be removed during the same procedure using this technique.
- NovaSure® endometrial ablation uses heat to remove the lining of the uterus. ThermaChoice® Balloon endometrial ablation uses hot water circulating through a balloon to destroy the lining of the uterus.
- HTA Hydro ThermAblator® uses hot circulating water to destroy the lining of the uterus.
- Her Option® endometrial ablation freezes and destroys the lining of the uterus.
If you would like to learn more about endometrial ablation continue reading. If you would like to discuss having a endometrial ablation at MIGS, contact us to arrange for a consultation.
Why is an endometrial ablation performed?
Endometrial ablation, or destruction of the lining of the uterus, is a treatment for menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding). It is an alternative to hysterectomy for the treatment of menorrhagia in women who wish to keep their uterus or avoid major surgery.
- are pre-menopausal
- have heavy bleeding caused by a benign (non-cancerous) condition
- have finished having children and are not interested in future fertility
- wish to retain their uteruses
What does an endometrial ablation involve?
An endometrial ablation is an outpatient procedure with a short recovery. It can either be performed in the office, or as an outpatient procedure in the operating room. A woman may experience some cramping after the procedure; ibuprofen is usually adequate to treat pain.
It is common to have a vaginal discharge for 2-4 weeks after the procedure. Most women are typically back to their normal activities in 1-2 days.
What happens after the procedure?
The recovery process will vary depending upon the type of ablation performed and the type of anesthesia that was administered.
If anesthesia was received in the operating room, the patient will be taken to the recovery room for observation. Once blood pressure, pulse and breathing are stable and the patient is alert, they are discharged home. Another person needs to drive the patient home.
If an ablation was performed in the office, the patient can go home in about 30 minutes.
Discharge Instructions for Endometrial Ablation (pdf)
- About 40% of women will have no periods (amenorrhea) after an endometrial ablation.
- About 85-90% of women have either no periods or decreased bleeding. They are satisfied with the outcome of the ablation and do not need further treatment.
- About 10-15% of women will require additional treatment, such as a hysterectomy.
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