Endometriosis Ablation: What you should know?
What is endometriosis ablation?
Endometrium is a thin layer of tissue that lines the inner cavity of the uterus. Ablation means to destroy by erosion, melting etc. So endometriosis ablation is a surgical procedure to ablate the uterine lining, which is also called as endometrium. It is a solution to treat abnormal or excess menstrual bleeding. It will help to reduce the menstrual blood flow in woman. In some woman, the procedure will stop menstrual bleeding.
Why is endometriosis ablation done?
As mentioned earlier, the procedure is majorly a treatment method for excess bleeding. Your doctor will suggest endometriosis ablation on conditions like:
- Heavy bleeding that goes beyond eight days
- Anaemia caused by the blood loss
- Heavy/abnormal bleeding
- When medications and other treatment show no positive results
- When hysterectomy cannot be performed due to other health reasons
The procedure is not advised for bleeding caused by cancer of the uterus or if you are at a higher risk of endometrial cancer. The doctor may ensure that the bleeding is not caused by any cancerous growth, before the procedure. It is not performed on pregnant woman and also who are planning to be pregnant in future.
How is endometriosis ablation done?
The procedure does not need any incision as the doctor will insert tools through the vagina. You will be given anaesthesia. There are different procedure used to destroy the uterine lining and the doctor will choose an appropriate one. Endometriosis ablation can be done using:
- Thermal ablation: The procedure uses heated saline fluid to destroy the uterine lining.
- Freezing method or cryoablation: The procedure uses ice balls to freeze and destroy the uterine lining.
- Thermal balloon: In this type, a balloon device with heated saline fluid is inserted through the cervix.
- Microwave: A wand emitting microwaves is inserted to heat up the tissues
- Radiofrequency: This method uses radiofrequency energy to vaporise the endometrium.
Risks in endometriosis ablation
Even though it is not a complicated procedure, it can lead to the following risks rarely:
- Severe pain with bleeding
- Tearing the uterus opening
- Damage in the nearby organs due to cold or heat used in the process
- A puncture or injury caused by the tools
- Higher risk in future pregnancy
- Accumulation of fluid in the lungs, which happens very rarely.
Post the procedure
You can leave the hospital on the day of the procedure in case of no further complication. You may experience abdominal cramps after the procedure. Also you may have vaginal discharge of blood and water for some days. Some patients feel a tendency to frequently urinate after the procedure. Post endometriosis ablation, you may require around two weeks to fully recover.
Most women will experience lower amount of blood flow after the procedure. In some cases, the menstrual bleeding will stop forever. However, it is not considered as a contraception procedure. Pregnancy is possible, but it can be risky.