For women who are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, the frustration of bleeding through pads and tampons is overwhelming. Uterine ablation is one option to reduce or possibly eliminate heavy menstrual bleeding in otherwise healthy women.
Uterine ablation is an outpatient procedure designed to destroy a thin layer of the lining of the uterus. Using radiofrequency, freezing, a heated balloon, or microwave energy, probes are inserted into the uterus where the heat or cold destroys and removes the endometrial layer. It is performed outpatient at a surgical center with small amounts of sedation. While uterine ablation is oftentimes successful at controlling heavy menstrual bleeding, it is not done as a first course of action. In many cases, heavy menstrual bleeding will be treated with medication to see if it can be controlled without surgical intervention.
While patients are sent home the same day as the procedure, minor side effects are common after a uterine ablation. These may include menstrual-like cramps, thin vaginal discharge mixed with blood, frequent urination for the first 24 hours after the procedure, and nausea from the anesthesia. Most patients find that rest and using sanitary pads or panty liners for any discharge can help, and the side effects resolve within a few days.
While it is possible to become pregnant after a uterine ablation, the risk of miscarriage and other problems is dramatically increased. Women who wish to become pregnant should not have a uterine ablation. Likewise, women who have uterine cancer, have had a recent pregnancy, or who have a current or recent uterine infection should not have the procedure done.
For more information on uterine ablation or for a consultation to discuss indications and side effects of uterine ablation, contact Newport Beach OB/GYN Medical Group, Inc. on Hospital Road.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!