Indication: Endometrial Ablation is a highly successful method of treating heavy uterine bleeding and cramping in women who are finished with childbearing.
Risks: As with any surgical procedure, there is risk of bleeding, infection and complications due to anesthesia. These are rare. There is also a risk that one of the instruments may cause a small hole in the uterus. This might require a laparoscopy to repair or may heal on its own.
Procedure: You will call our surgery scheduler to set up a time for the procedure. This is usually performed at an independent outpatient surgery center or at Northside hospital’s outpatient surgery center. You cannot eat or drink anything after midnight. You will have an IV placed and be taken back to the operating room where you will be given medicine in your IV to put you to sleep for 15-30 minutes. A speculum will be placed in the vagina (just like when you have a pap smear in the office) and the cervix will be dilated so an instrument with a camera can be inserted to look at the inside of your uterus. Sometimes some tissue is removed to send to the pathologist. The special device (usually Novasure, but sometimes thermachoice) is placed into the uterus and produces heat which cauterizes and destroys the lining of uterus. You will then go to the recovery room and be sent home the same day.
Post procedure: You will have prescriptions for Motrin and a narcotic pain medicine. Most people require 1-3 days to recover, experiencing some post operative cramping and watery discharge for up to a week or two. You should not use tampons or have sex for 2-3 weeks.
What you should know about ablation: This procedure is a great solution for heavy bleeding as an alternative to hormonal treatments and hysterectomy. The majority of patients will have no periods or very short and light periods afterwards. It will not affect your own hormones in any way and will not resolve hormonal symptoms like mood swings, bloating, and breast tenderness. Ablation does not provide contraception and you should not get pregnant after an ablation, so consider how you wish to prevent pregnancy following your procedure. Permanent sterilization can be performed as an additional procedure along with your ablation. Discuss this with your doctor.