Endometrial ablation

Endometrial ablation: Risks, Types & Procedures

There are several women in the blood whose menstrual flows tend to be extremely painful. To that end, there are now certain options in order to stop the flow completely. Endometrial ablation is one o those techniques where the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrial) is removed. The goal of this technique is one and that is to reduce the menstrual flow in women. However, there have been cases that menstrual flow has been stopped in some women.

This process does not require any sort of incision and to that end, only slender tools are used. These tools are moved between the passageway of the vagina and the cervix in order to remove the layer. 

Depending upon the method of ablation, the size of the tools used might differ. This is an outpatient procedure and can be done in the doctor’s office. Furthermore, when it comes to the type of ablation considered, doctor also has to consider the condition of the uterus.

Reason for doing endometrial ablation

The reasons that your doctor might recommend you the procedure are as follows: 

  • The periods that you experience are especially heavy. To that end, the tampons are not fully able to handle the bleeding. 

  • The bleedings are lasting way too long.

  • Blood loss that is causing anaemic symptoms in you.

When endometrial ablation is not recommended?

There are certain conditions where the procedure is not recommended and the following are those conditions:

  • If there are certain abnormalities in the uterus. 

  • There is cancer in the uterus or there is an increased risk of uterine cancer.  

  • If there is an active pelvic infection.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

The compilations of this process include the following: 

  • There is a chance of pain bleeding or infection.

  • There can be heat or cold damage to the organs nearby.

  • The surgical instruments, regardless of how precise they are, can cause puncture injuries to the uterine walls.

  • Furthermore, there is also a chance that future fertility might involve a risk to both the baby and the child. These complications can cause miscarriage as well. 

How to prepare for this procedure?

Preparing for this procedure involves the following: 

  • This procedure cannot be done in case you are pregnant. To that end, you need to perform a pregnancy check beforehand

  • A diagnostic for cancer will also take place. 

  • The IUD is removed prior to the procedure.

  • The endometrium is thinned first to make sure that the ablation process is successful. 

  • Discuss all the anaesthetic options with your doctor. 

What are the types of endometrial ablation techniques?

The types of endometrial ablation techniques are as follows: 

  • Electrosurgery: After scoping the area with a slender scope, a wire loop is passed into the uterus and then the wire is heated to carve out the endometrium. This process is performed once the patient under general anaesthesia.

  • Cryoablation: Using extreme cold, the endometrial layer is freezes and destroyed. The entire progress is tracked using the ultrasound screening. There are freeze cycles associated with this and each of them can take up about 6 minutes. The number of cycles needed is based on the shape of the uterus.

  • Free flowing hot fluid: the Heated saline solution is circulated within the uterus for about 10 minutes. This form of ablation can be performed for all the types of the uterus

  • Heated Balloon: A balloon device is first inserted through your cervix and then it is inflated using a hot fluid. This process takes up about 10 minutes.

  • Microwave: A want is inserted into the cervix and microwaves emit through it. This heats up and removes the endometrial tissue. 

  • Radiofrequency: A special device is inserted into the uterus. This device transmits radiofrequency energy which in turn vaporized the tissue in about one or two minutes. 

What can you experience after the procedure?

Once the procedure is complete, you might experience some discomfort and these are the following: 

  • Cramps: You are going to experience menstrual cramps for a few days. Over the counter medications is going to assist you with dealing with this side effect. 

  • Vaginal discharge: A watery discharge mixed with blood might occur for a few days after the procedure. For the first few days, this might be heaviest. However, the intensity shall reduce in the later days.

  • Frequent urination: You might feel the urge to urinate more often for a period of 24 hours after the endometrial procedure is complete.

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Dr. Madhu Goel is a well renowned senior gynaecologist and a senior consultant at Fortis La femme, New Delhi. She runs a private consultation in Goel’s surgery and Gynea centre and prior to being associated with Fortis; she was a consultant a Rockland Hospital.