Abnormal uterine bleeding, in the form of heavy menstrual flow or irregular cycles, is one of the most common complaints that bring women in to see a gynecologist. A procedure called an endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive treatment option that uses technology to destroy the lining of the uterus to reduce menstrual flow. It can be performed right in your doctor's office without the use of general anesthesia and with minimal down time.
Endometrial ablation in general refers to any procedure that destroys (i.e., ablates) the endometrium (uterine lining). When this technique was initially introduced, laser was used as the energy source. This limited the performance of endometrial ablation to operating rooms that were equipped with expensive and oftentimes cumbersome laser equipment.
More recently, newer ways of achieving quick, effective destruction of the uterine lining using other energy sources, such as heated fluid and radiofrequency electricity, have allowed physicians to offer endometrial ablation safely in an office setting.
Endometrial ablation is not appropriate for every woman suffering from abnormal uterine bleeding. Premenopausal patients with a normal uterus, without evidence of cancer or pre-cancer and who have completed childbearing, are considered candidates for this procedure. Your physician will run tests, such as a pelvic ultrasound and a biopsy of the lining of the uterus, to determine the advisability of ablation in your particular case.
Endometrial ablation itself does not provide effective contraception and any pregnancy that occurs after a woman has had an ablation is extremely dangerous. Therefore, your doctor will often recommend permanent sterilization as well if you have not already undergone tubal ligation, or your partner has not had a vasectomy.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call or text 920.729.7105.