Hysterectomies, of course, are not the only option for people dealing with heavy bleeding, fibroids, etc. One alternative is endometrial ablation. Here’s a post from the blog Women’s Health Services regarding this option. I’m not clear on the source of the blog and who is writing it but I did find the information useful still. I hope you find it useful as well!
What is Endometrial Ablation?
Endometrial ablation is a medical procedure that is used to remove the endometrial lining of the uterus. Woman who suffer from excessive bleeding during their menstrual cycle but cannot undergo a hysterectomy go through with this surgery. Heavy periods can put woman in the risk for anemia, make them feel dizzy, tired and breathless. This is a safer treatment choice for women who get heavy periods that cannot be controlled by medication.
Endometrial Ablation Procedure- Endometrial ablation is a short procedure which takes up to 15-45 minutes (sometimes longer). There are various techniques that destroy the inner lining of the uterus; the following is a list of some: Passing a electric current, Using a high energy light beam, Probes using microwaves, Radio waves, Laser beam, Electricity, Freezing. The procedure can cause temporary side effects, which may take up to two weeks to recover include the following: Pain, Discomfort, Cramping, Vaginal Discharge, Nausea. More severe complications include the following: Inflammation in the womb, Urinary tract infection, Unusually heavy bleeding, A blood clot in the leg, Reaction to the anesthetic. Not all women are suitable for the procedure, woman with medical conditions like: uterus disorders, uterine cancer, recent uterus infection, recent pregnancy or past menopause are not suitable. Younger woman are more likely to respond to this treatment than older woman. Additionally, it is important to consider that pregnancy is unlikely after the procedure, and if it does happen there are various risks involved. Consult your doctor for further information, before you choose this path.
80% of women who undergo endometrial ablation will have reduced bleeding during their menstrual cycle. 45% of women will stop having their periods. 22% of women will require a second procedure, or even a hysterectomy. What to Expect Prior to the Procedure: Before the procedure you should ask your doctors about all of the available options including medicines that can thin the lining of the uterus. Consulting with a professional is essential since this procedure is not for everyone. There are 3 types of anesthesia available for ablation: General Anesthesia- blocks pain and keeps you asleep through the procedure; Regional Anesthesia- blocks pain in the area, but you are still conscious; Local Anesthesia- the area being operated on is numb. Check out their site for more information.