Heavy Periods and Endometrial Ablation

One in five women experience abnormal heavy menstrual bleeding which can lead to extreme fatigue, anemia, and limited activity for fear of embarrassing accidents. This can place severe restrictions on a woman’s personal life as well as cause problems in the work-place with additional costs due to time lost.

In the past, aggressive therapy consisted of hysterectomy. But major surgery has its risks and severely limits a woman’s ability to return to full activity for a considerable amount of time both at home and at work.

Fortunately, with today’s technology, there is a new treatment option which is quick, safe and has a short recovery period. This new treatment is called Endometrial Ablation. This means that the lining of the uterus (endometrium) is treated to reduce its buildup thereby shortening, lessening, or eliminating periods. It does not affect the ovaries, so it does not interfere with normal hormonal production, thereby eliminating the need for hormonal replacement therapy.

Initially, the lining of the uterus was treated with lasers or equipment borrowed from urologists to remove or resect the endometrium down to the underlying muscle. Now, more sophisticated devices are being used which are safer and treatment can be performed without general anesthesia.

The following are new endometrial ablation methods that are placed through the vagina and into the lining of the uterus:
  • Radio Frequency (Electrical Energy) – a precisely measured amount of energy is delivered through a slender hand held device
  • Balloon – a small balloon is placed and filled with hot water
  • Hot Water (Hydrothermal) – fluid is introduced and is heated to a precise temperature
  • Freezing (Cryoablation) – a small device is inserted and the temperature is dropped to freeze the lining
  • Microwave – a small probe delivers energy to heat the lining
These new methods are quick, require no incisions and take anywhere from 11⁄2 to 10 minutes to perform. They are done in either an outpatient setting or in office and generally require a day or two as recovery time.

Most women see a significant reduction in their menstrual bleeding. Many women notice less menstrual cramping, less PMS symptomatology, and some even stop bleeding altogether without menopausal symptoms since the ovaries are not treated.

This new minimally invasive therapy for excessive menstrual bleeding is:
  • an alternative to hysterectomy.
  • done in the office.
  • a treatment affording a rapid recovery with return to a normal lifestyle and cost savings for patients and employers.
  • able to reduce or eliminate excessive menstrual periods.
When heavy menstrual bleeding is a problem, endometrial ablation should be seriously considered and discussed with a board certified gynecologist with experience in the use of this new and exciting treatment modality. For more information, please call Dr. Richard G. Tucker’s office at (856) 778-8622.


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