Endometrial ablation is an outpatient surgery that can reduce or stop heavy menstrual bleeding. Ablation destroys the lining of the uterus. This surgery is for women who do not want to have any more children and who have not yet entered menopause. Surgery takes less than an hour, and you can go home later that day.
Preparing for surgery
- You may be given medicine by mouth or injection for a few weeks or months before your surgery. This thins the lining of the uterus and reduces bleeding.
- The day before surgery, you may be given medicine or a special substance may be put into the opening to the uterus (cervix) to widen the opening.
- To help prevent problems with anesthesia, do not eat or drink anything 10 hours before surgery.
You’ll be given anesthesia so you stay comfortable and relaxed. You will not feel pain during surgery.
Your uterus may be filled with fluid. This puts pressure on the lining to help reduce bleeding. It also allows your health care provider to see inside your uterus.
Your health care provider puts a small telescope-like instrument through the cervix. This scope may be connected to a video monitor. This helps your health care provider see and control the ablation process. At the end of the scope, a device using heat, extreme cold or electric current destroys the uterine lining. Instead of the scope, your health care provider may use another device that both expands and destroys the uterine lining. After being inserted into your uterus, it also uses heat or other energy to destroy the lining. Your health care provider will choose the device that’s best for you.
- You may have cramping or aching in your abdomen after surgery. Your healthcare provider can give you pain medicine.
- You may also have a bloody or watery discharge or bleeding for days or weeks. Use sanitary pads, not tampons.
- Don’t have sex or play active sports for two weeks after surgery.
- You can likely return to work in two days.
- Ask your health care provider about using contraception after an ablation.
- Your health care provider will see you in about six weeks to check how well you are healing.
Theodore Miller, MD, gynecologist, sees patients at Ripon Medical Center. To schedule an appointment, call (920) 745-3530.