Understanding Endometrial Ablation and Its Different Approaches
Most women experience menstrual bleeding every month, with the cycle varying between 21 to 28 days. Unfortunately, some women may experience excessive bleeding, with painful cramping that may get in the way of routine activities like reporting to school or work. Unusually heavy periods can sometimes result in anemia due to excessive loss of blood. If your periods last more than eight days and you soak your pad or tampon every two hours or less, it is time you sought medical attention. Your doctor may recommend McDonough endometrial ablation if other treatments like medication or the use of an intrauterine device fail to work.
What Is Endometrial Ablation?
It is a procedure that involves removing a thin layer of your uterus lining to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding. While this treatment aims to reduce menstrual flow, bleeding may completely stop in some women. Endometrial ablation is not a surgical procedure and therefore requires no incisions. Instead, the doctor inserts narrow objects through your vagina into the uterus. There are different approaches that your healthcare provider may use. They include:
· Balloon therapy- This method uses a catheter fitted with a balloon filled with fluid to heat the uterus lining.
· Electrocautery- The doctor uses a wire loop or rollerball with an electric current to destroy the endometrial tissue.
· Hydrothermal- For this approach, your healthcare provider pumps heated fluid into the uterus to destroy the lining.
· Radiofrequency ablation- Your doctor expands the uterus with an electrical mesh and sends an electrical current made by radio waves to heat the uterus lining.
· Cryoablation- This involves the use of a probe under low temperatures to freeze the uterus lining.
· Microwave ablation- The health care provider sends microwave energy through a thin probe to destroy the endometrium.
Possible Risks of Endometrial Ablation:
· Bleeding, pain, and infection.
· Damage to surrounding organs due to the heat or cold used.
· Tearing of the uterine wall from surgical instruments.
This treatment may also affect your future fertility and result in high-risk pregnancies, miscarriages, or ectopic pregnancies.
What Is Recovery Like After Endometrial Ablation?
The healing process will vary depending on the ablation type and the anesthesia used. You might require close monitoring after treatment if your doctor used spinal, epidural, and general anesthesia. While in the recovery room, the doctor will check your pulse, breathing, and blood pressure to ensure you are stable. After providing everything is alright, you may be taken to the hospital room or sent home. Patients who did not get anesthesia only need two hours of rest before being discharged to go home. Expect vaginal bleeding or a bloody watery discharge a few days following treatment. You may need to wear sanitary pads to avoid any discomfort.
· Avoid lifting heavy objects and other strenuous activities.
· Do not engage in sexual intercourse; use tampons or douche for at least three days after treatment. Follow your doctor’s advice regarding the time length.
· Take pain relievers to minimize the intense cramping you may experience after endometrial ablation. However, avoid using anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin as it may increase your chance of bleeding.
No dietary change is needed after treatment unless recommended by your healthcare provider.
To learn more about endometrial ablation, including whether you are a good candidate, consult your doctor at Ideal Gynecology, LLC.