Questions to ask your doctor

Facing surgery can be stressful. It is common for patients to forget some of their questions during a brief doctor’s office visit. You may also think of other questions after your appointment. Contact your doctor with concerns and questions before surgery and between appointments.

It is also a good idea to bring a list of questions to your appointments. Questions can include:

  • Why do I need uterine ablation? Are there any other options for treating my condition?
  • Which type of uterine ablation procedure will I need?
  • How long will the surgery take? When will I go home?
  • What restrictions will I have after the surgery? When can I return to work and other activities?
  • What kind of assistance will I need at home?
  • How should I take my medications?
  • How will you treat my pain?
  • When should I follow up with you?
  • How should I contact you? Ask for numbers to call during and after regular hours.

What can I expect after my uterine ablation?

Knowing what to expect can help make your road to recovery after uterine ablation as smooth as possible. 

How long will it take to recover?

You will stay in the recovery room after surgery until you are alert, breathing effectively, and your vital signs are stable. You may have a sore throat if a tube was placed in your windpipe during surgery. This is usually temporary, but tell your care team if you are uncomfortable.

You will go home on the same day if you are recovering well. A hospital stay is rarely required for uterine ablation. 

Recovery after surgery is a gradual process. Recovery time varies depending on the procedure, type of anesthesia, your general health, age, and other factors. Most women return to their usual activities within a day or two, but it can take several months to see the full effects of uterine ablation.

Will I feel pain?

Pain control is important for healing and a smooth recovery.  The nerves inside your uterus cannot feel heat, cold, or electrical stimulation, so the procedure itself is usually painless.

You may have discomfort for several days after your surgery, including cramping, nausea, frequent urination, and a watery, bloody discharge. Your doctor will treat your pain and nausea so you are comfortable and can get the rest you need. Call your doctor if discomfort gets worse or changes because it may be a sign of a complication. 

When should I call my doctor?

It is important to keep your follow-up appointments after uterine ablation. Contact your doctor for questions and concerns between appointments. Call your doctor right away or seek immediate medical care if you have:

  • Bloating, swelling or pain in your abdomen or belly
  • Breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, or wheezing
  • Change in alertness, such as passing out, dizziness, unresponsiveness, or confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Fever. A low-grade fever (lower than 101 degrees Fahrenheit) is common for a couple of days after surgery and not necessarily a sign of a surgical infection. However, you should follow your doctor's specific instructions about when to call for a fever.
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Inability to urinate, pas gas, or have a bowel movement
  • Pain
  • Vomiting

How might uterine ablation affect my everyday life?

Uterine ablation may cure your condition or significantly reduce your symptoms so you can lead an active, normal life. 

Uterine ablation can also cause significant changes to your body that may affect your everyday life, such as:

  • Continued need for routine screenings including PAP smears and pelvic exams, because you still have a uterus and cervix
  • Increased risk of miscarriage should pregnancy occur. Women who still desire to have children should not have uterine ablation. 
  • Need for birth control. While pregnancy after uterine ablation is not likely, it is possible because you still have a uterus. Pregnancy after uterine ablation is extremely risky.