Endometrial Ablation – Her Option
Endometrial ablation is a technique where the lining of the uterus, that normally produces your menstrual bleeding, is destroyed by a variety of techniques. It is a procedure designed for women who are done with childbearing and have heavy, unacceptable periods without significant pathology such as fibroid tumors, endometrial polyps or other abnormalities. It is a permanent procedure and it is important to stress that you should not want future childbearing afterwards as the cavity of the uterus is significantly scarred following the procedure. Before the procedure is performed your physician will order certain blood studies to rule out other possibilities for heavy periods as well as a special ultrasound called sonohysterogram where he will rule out pathology such as fibroid tumors and uterine polyps.
The procedure may be performed in the office as well as the operating room, depending upon which technique was chosen. We use an office technique called HerOption, a form of cryoablation, where we freeze the uterine lining. The technique takes approximately 10 minutes and usually causes mild to moderate menstrual cramps, very well tolerated by the patient. We do pretreat you with pain medication that helps to ease the discomfort. After the procedure you will have more menstrual cramping that is treated with pain medication and usually lasts several hours following the procedure. The following day you will have little or no discomfort and will be able to resume all normal activities with the exception of intercourse for approximately 2 weeks following the procedure. You will have a heavy vaginal discharge that may last 2-4 weeks for which we ask you to use pads instead of tampons.
About 20% of patients will stop having periods altogether but most patients resume light to normal menstrual flow following the procedure. Over 90% of patients who have the procedure are happy with the results and would do it again.
If you have questions about endometrial ablation please make an appointment with your doctor and he will be glad to discuss this with you.