Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure that destroys (ablates) the inner lining of the uterus, known at the endometrium. It is performed in women who no longer desire pregnancy, in order to treat abnormal uterine bleeding due to benign conditions. Before an ablation is performed, a sample of the uterine lining, known as an endometrial biopsy, is taken to assure no cancer is present.
Why perform an ablation?
This procedure is recommended to reduce prolonged heavy bleeding in patients who have not responded to other treatments and prefer not to have a hysterectomy. Hormonal irregularities and other medical conditions may contribute to these symptoms.
When is an ablation performed?
This out-patient procedure is typically recommended for women after childbearing years. Younger patients are less likely to respond to endometrial ablation due to their levels of estrogen and may need a repeat procedure. In most cases, abnormal uterine bleeding is controlled or stopped in approximately 90 percent of patients. Ablation is not recommended for women with a high risk of endometrial cancer.
How is an ablation performed?
A small telescopic camera, known as a hysteroscope, is inserted into the uterine cavity, via the vagina and cervix, to look inside the uterus. Various techniques are used to ablate the endometrial lining. If polyps or fibroids are found within the uterine cavity, these are removed first. Following an endometrial ablation procedure, patients are kept in the hospital for a few hours and may resume normal daily activities within 24 hours.