What is endometrial ablation?
An endometrial ablation is the surgical removal of the lining of the uterus (endometrium). This procedure is usually performed on women who are done having children.
Why it's done
Endometrial ablation is typically used as a treatment for extreme blood loss during menstruation. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you suffer from:
- Abnormally heavy periods
- Bleeding that lasts more than eight days
There are several surgical approaches to endometrial ablations available at Northwell. Techniques include:
- Balloon therapy—During this procedure, a balloon, attached to the end of a catheter, is inserted into the uterus, filled with fluid and heated. This heated fluid destroys the tissues.
- Electrocautery—This method involves your surgeon using an electric current, which travels through a wire loop. The current removes the uterus lining.
- Hydrothermal—During this procedure, fluid is pumped into the uterus to remove the lining.
- Radiofrequency ablation—This approach involves the insertion of an electrical mesh into the uterus, which is then expanded. An electrical current made of radio waves is sent through to remove the lining.
- Cryoablation—This technique involves a probe that uses extremely low temperatures to freeze and demolish endometrial tissues.
- Microwave ablation—This procedure deals with microwave energy, which is delivered through a skinny probe inserted into the uterus. This abolishes the lining.
Risks and side effects of an endometrial ablation include:
- Infection, pain or bleeding
- Heat/cold damage to nearby organs
- Injury of the uterine wall
- Possible pregnancy complications
How to prepare
Before suggesting an endometrial ablation, your physician will rule out other medical issues and malignancies to make sure this procedure is suitable for you. Your doctor may give you hormonal medications to thin out the endometrial lining before your procedure.
What to expect after treatment
You may experience some pain and discharge post-treatment. This is usually a same day procedure, meaning you can return home after the operation.