This is the surgical removal of the lining of the uterus (womb). It may involve using heat, cold temperatures, microwave energy, or other methods.
Reasons for Procedure
Endometrial ablation will likely make menstrual flow lighter. In some cases, it stops menstrual flow completely. The procedure is used to treat
(recurrent heavy periods not controlled by medicine).
Talk to your doctor about your plans for having a baby. This procedure decreases your chance of pregnancy.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have endometrial ablation, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Complications related to anesthesia
Uterine perforation or organ injury
Edema (swelling) due to fluid leakage and absorption
Thermal (heat) injury to the vagina, vulva, or bowel
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Pregnancy or possible pregnancy—procedure should not be done if there is a chance that you are pregnant
Regional anesthesia—blocks pain in an area of the body but you stay awake through the procedure, given as an injection
Local anesthesia—just the area that is being operated on is numbed, given as an injection
Your doctor will help you decide which one is right for you.
Description of the Procedure
There are many different ways for the doctor to do this procedure. A simple ablation procedure is short. It can often be done in a care center. Other procedures take longer and need to be done in a hospital.
During the procedure, the doctor will not make any incisions to access the uterus. A tiny probe will be inserted through the vagina and into the uterine cavity through the cervix. Depending on the method, the tip of the probe will expand to deliver:
Radiofrequency (heat and energy)
Cryoablation (freezing temperature)
Electrosurgery (uses electrical current and a heated rollerball or spiked ball)—may require general anesthesia
These methods will destroy the cells lining the uterine cavity. You will not feel pain. Often, ultrasound is used to help guide the doctor. Suction will be used to remove the tissue that has been destroyed.
How Long Will It Take?
This depends on the type of method. It can take 15-45 minutes or longer.
How Much Will It Hurt?
You may feel cramping and discomfort. Your doctor will give you pain medicine.
Average Hospital Stay
This is usually done on an outpatient basis. You may need to stay there for 1-2 hours. Some methods may require an overnight hospital stay.
At the Care Center or Hospital
While recovering, you may receive the following care:
Check blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing
Check on your fluid status and the electrolytes in your blood
Your doctor will ask you how you feel and make sure you are well enough to go home.
After the procedure, you may:
Feel cramping for 1-2 days
Have a heavy discharge for 2-3 days
Have a watery, bloody discharge for a few weeks
Need to go to the bathroom a lot for the first day and have some nausea
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Make sure you have a supply of sanitary pads at home.
You should be able to return to normal activities within a day or two. Ask your doctor when you can:
Resume sexual activity
Since you still have your sexual organs, you will need to:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a