If you have dealt with heavy menstrual periods, you already know how much they can interfere with daily life. Bleeding that requires a fresh pad or tampon every hour can lead to fatigue and low energy from anemia, not to mention the stress of worrying about leaks and the cost of feminine hygiene products.
Endometrial ablation can lessen or stop excessive bleeding by removing the uterine lining (the endometrium) that grows and sheds over a menstrual cycle. This treatment is not suitable for women who want to become pregnant in the future, but the procedure can offer life-changing freedom from heavy periods and other abnormal bleeding for those who choose it. If you are interested in receiving endometrial ablation in Leesburg, you should get in touch with a member of our gynecological surgery team. We could help you weigh this procedure’s possible benefits and risks.
Methods for Endometrial Ablation
Ablation therapy can be applied to a wide variety of health conditions. To ablate something means to remove material through an erosive process. Ablation therapy involves removing abnormal tissue and can be used to treat heart arrhythmias, cancer, and chronic pain. There are multiple methods an OBGYN could use to perform endometrial ablation in our offices in Leesburg or Centreville. These include:
- Electrocautery, which involves applying a wire loop or ball with an electrical current to run through to the uterine lining.
- Hydrothermal occurs when fluid is introduced into the uterus and then heated. The heated fluid stays in the uterus for about ten minutes to destroy the endometrium.
- Balloon therapy, which involves inserting thin tube with a balloon at the end into the uterus. The balloon is then filled with heated liquid until it touches the uterine lining and destroys the tissue.
- Radiofrequency ablation occurs when a probe expands into an electrical mesh device and is inserted into the uterus. High-energy radio waves sent through the mesh then create heat energy to destroy the uterine lining.
- This method uses a special probe cooled to an extremely low temperature to freeze the lining, which will then cause it to die and disintegrate.
- Microwave ablation. In this method, the provider uses a probe to apply microwave energy to the lining to destroy it.
Sometimes surgeons use a tool called a hysteroscope to aid in the endometrial ablation. This is a thin, lighted tube that gives the doctor clearer view the cervix and uterus. Depending on the details of the procedure, endometrial ablation is performed under either general or local anesthesia.
Potential Benefits of Endometrial Ablation
Endometrial ablation is less invasive than surgery such as a hysterectomy, so there is less downtime after the procedure and no scarring. All of the reproductive organs remain intact. If heavy bleeding has not responded to medication, ablation may be an excellent choice to make periods more manageable and help avoid complications from anemia.
It is necessary for patients in Leesburg to understand that pregnancy will either be impossible or highly risky after undergoing endometrial ablation. Effective birth control will be crucial following the procedure because pregnancies after endometrial ablation carry a much higher risk of miscarriage and other health problems.
Speak with a Leesburg OBGYN About Endometrial Ablation
If you have been having heavy menstrual periods, you may have spent many years not knowing that there was anything that could be done to help. Endometrial ablation is less invasive than surgery and typically has only mild side effects. Call to set up an appointment to discuss whether getting endometrial ablation in Leesburg might be part of a treatment plan that works for you.