Are you interested in undergoing an operation called endometrial ablation but not entirely sure about what to expect or if it is the right solution to what ails you? How long does it take to recover from an endometrial ablation and what are the possible side effects? These are good questions for women that know absolutely nothing about the procedure and how it might be of benefit to them.
In this post, we will go over a few things every woman should know about endometrial ablation. Only then can you decide if it is the right medical procedure for you.
How does it work?
As you may already know, Endometrial Ablation is a day only surgical procedure that reduces the lining of the uterus. Many health experts tout the process as a less invasive option to hysterectomy for the treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding.
Can the lining of the uterus grow back after ablation? Can periods return after endometrial ablation? The answer to both questions is yes — keep in mind that the goal of the procedure is to cure heavy menstrual periods and is quite useful in that regard. Bleeding may eventually resume, and in some cases, women may require additional treatments to solve their menstrual problem. Up to 20% of women may need a repeat ablation or have hysterectomy 5 years after the initial procedure.
There are many ways to perform endometrial ablation, such as burning away the lining with hot liquid or electrical current, or freezing the lining, or even using microwaves to destroy the lining of the uterus (Novasure). The technique used depends on the choice of the gynaecologist performing the procedure, as well as the specific anatomy of the uterus. However, despite the method utilised, the results are incredibly similar: 52% of ladies who are treated with this procedure will never bleed again. Moreover, 92% of women treated will report an improvement in their menstrual bleeding patterns post-treatment. My preferred choice is the NOVASURE device.
What are the benefits?
Endometrial ablation offers lots of benefits over hysterectomy. For one thing, the procedure is minimally invasive and seldom need inpatient hospitalisation. Most patients who undergo this procedure are discharged within about an hour of the treatment and although you might experience a bit of cramping and discomfort, most women entirely recovery within 48 hours after the procedure. In comparison, a hysterectomy requires approximately four days of inpatient hospitalisation and up to 6 weeks to heal fully.
Following endometrial ablation, you can expect to resume most of your regular activities in a day or two. Intercourse and extremely exhausting activity are usually restricted for two weeks. It is common to have an increased discharge for 2 to 4 weeks afterwards, as the lining is shedding.
What are the possible side effects?
Just like any other surgical procedure, endometrial ablation has its’ share of risks and potential side effects although it is not any different from a hysterectomy. For one thing, there is the possible adverse side effect of anaesthetics and risk of infection. However, because an ablation is a 10-minute outpatient procedure, the risks mentioned above are substantially decreased compared with the far more lengthy and invasive hysterectomy.
Is it for you?
Endometrial ablation obliterates the lining of the uterus which means that it is not for women who are concerned about their fertility. Any malignant/ premalignant changes of the uterus and cervix need to be ruled out prior to the procedure. Pregnancy should be avoided after ablation as significant issues such as growth restriction, increased miscarriage and abnormal placentation could arise. For that reason, it is prudent to utilise reliable birth control after an endometrial ablation. Some females will elect to go through a tubal ligation at the time of the procedure.
If heavy menstrual bleeding is severe enough to affect your quality of life adversely, then you should think about endometrial ablation as a possible treatment. It is essential that you get help from an accomplished Gynaecologist who has experience treating cases of heavy, abnormal menstrual bleeding. You can expect no less out of Dr Ming K Yoong! Phone us today on 02 9822 4553 to arrange an appointment.