Reasons for Procedure
- 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
- Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
- Pregnancy or possible pregnancy—procedure should not be done if there is a chance that you are pregnant
- History of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)—may trigger a recurrence of PID
- Inflammation of the cervix
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Do an endometrial biopsy , ultrasound , or hysteroscopy of your uterus to check for abnormalities and understand the shape and size of your uterus.
- Your medical history
- Medications or herbs and supplements you take
- Any allergies you have
- Whether you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
- If you have an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Ask your doctor about your options. There are many types of endometrial ablation.
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
- Take medication to thin the lining of the uterus.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home from the care center. You may also need help at home.
- Avoid smoking .
- Have a light dinner.
- The night before, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- General anesthesia —blocks pain and keeps you asleep through the procedure
- Regional anesthesia —blocks pain in the area, 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
Description of the Procedure
- Radiofrequency—heat and energy
- Cryoablation—freezing temperature
- Heated fluid
- Heated balloon
- Microwave energy
- Electrosurgery—uses electrical current and a heated rollerball or spiked ball); may require general anesthesia
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Check blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing
- Check on your fluid status and the electrolytes in your blood
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Talk to your doctor about how your fertility has been affected by the procedure. Discuss family planning options.
- Have routine Pap tests.
- Have pelvic exams.
Call Your Doctor
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Severe abdominal cramping and pelvic pain
- Severe pain during sex
- Severe low back pain
- Pain during bowel movements or urination
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cough, chest pain, or shortness of breath
- Pain or tenderness in the calf or leg
- Menstruation does not get lighter after 2-3 periods
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
American Society for Reproductive Medicine http://www.asrm.org
Canadian Women’s Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Endometrial ablation. AHRQ National Guideline Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?doc%5Fid=10918&nbr=5698&ss=6&xl=999. Updated May 2007. Accessed September 23, 2014.
Endometrial Ablation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Practice bulletin. No. 81, May 2007. Obstet Gynecol. 2007 May;109(5):1233-48.
Endometrial ablation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Endometrial-Ablation. Published April 2013. Accessed September 23, 2014.
Heavy menstrual bleeding. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence website. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/CG44NICEGuideline.pdf. Published January 2007. Accessed September 23, 2014.
Lethaby A, Hickey M, et al. Endometrial destruction techniques for heavy menstrual bleeding. Cochrane Collection website. Available at: http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001501.html. Updated August 23, 2005. Accessed September 23, 2014.
Patient fact sheet: endometrial ablation. American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: http://www.asrm.org/FACTSHEET%5FEndometrial%5FAblation/. Updated 2011. Accessed September 23, 2014.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/23/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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