What is uterine ablation?
Uterine ablation is the surgical removal of the endometrium or the lining of the uterus. The uterus is a pear-shaped organ located in the lower abdominal (pelvic) area where a baby grows during pregnancy. When pregnancy does not occur, the endometrium is shed each month through menstrual bleeding. Uterine ablation is a treatment for menorrhagia (abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding).
Uterine ablation is a common but major surgery with significant risks and potential complications. You may have less invasive treatment options. Consider getting a second opinion about all your treatment choices before having uterine ablation.
Types of uterine ablation
The types of uterine ablation procedures include:
- Balloon thermal ablation involves inserting a balloon into your uterus and filling it with heated liquid. The heat destroys your endometrium after approximately 10 minutes.
- Cryoablation or freezing involves inserting a small probe into your uterus. The tip of the probe cools to extremely low temperatures. It freezes your endometrium to destroy it.
- Electrosurgery involves inserting a special tool into your uterus that carries an electrical current. The electrical current destroys your endometrium. The tool can have a rollerball, wire loop, spiked ball, or triangular mesh tip. You will have this procedure done with general anesthesia in a hospital.
- Hydrothermal ablation involves instilling and circulating heated fluid, usually saline, inside your uterus. The heat destroys your endometrium after approximately 10 minutes.
- Laser involves inserting a laser probe into your uterus. The laser light energy destroys your endometrium.
- Microwave involves inserting a probe into your uterus that uses microwave energy to destroy your endometrium.
- Radiofrequency involves inserting a probe into your uterus that uses radio wave energy to destroy your endometrium.
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