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Endometrial Ablation in Charlottesville, VA

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What is Endometrial Ablation?

Endometrial ablation is a medical procedure used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding in women. The procedure involves the removal or destruction of the endometrial lining (the innermost layer of the uterus). The purpose is to reduce or eliminate menstrual bleeding without the need for a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).

During the procedure, your doctor will use various methods to destroy or remove the endometrial lining, either with extreme cold, heat, fluids, or high-energy radio frequencies. The exact method used will depend on the size of your uterus, current health conditions, and several other factors.

Why is Endometrial Ablation Done?

Endometrial ablation is done to alleviate heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) or irregular periods, often caused by conditions like uterine fibroids or hormonal imbalances. It is a minimally invasive alternative for women who wish to avoid major surgery, for those who can’t have a hysterectomy, and for those who still want to get pregnant in the future. By thinning or destroying the endometrial tissue, this procedure can significantly reduce menstrual flow and improve quality of life.

Who Needs Endometrial Ablation?

Someone might need endometrial ablation if any of the following apply:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding occurs on a regular basis
  • Menstrual bleeding lasts longer than eight days
  • Anemia occurs as a result of heavy bleeding

Heavy bleeding can be described as soaking a pad or tampon every two hours or less.

What are the Risks?

The risks associated with endometrial ablation are rare, but can include:

  • Infection
  • Uterine perforation (a rare complication where the instrument might puncture the uterine wall)
  • Fluid overload (rare, but excessive absorption of the fluid used during the procedure)
  • Thermal injury to surrounding organs or tissues
  • Failure to completely alleviate heavy menstrual bleeding, requiring additional treatment
  • Post-ablation syndrome, which includes pelvic pain, cramping, and discharge
  • Possible impact on future fertility (pregnancy is not recommended after the procedure)
  • Scarring inside the uterus or injury to the bowel or bladder

What To Expect

During your consultation for endometrial ablation, your provider will conduct a health evaluation and listen to the symptoms you are experiencing. They might also conduct a pelvic exam to determine the size and shape of your uterus and rule out any other abnormalities or conditions.

If found to be a candidate for treatment, your doctor will provide you with procedure details and answer any questions you might have. If you decide to proceed with the ablation, you will receive instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. This might involve fasting before the appointment or taking prescribed medications as advised by your doctor.

During the procedure itself, endometrial ablation is typically performed under anesthesia. The type of anesthesia used can vary, and your doctor will discuss the options with you.

After the procedure is completed, you will spend some time in a recovery area to ensure there are no immediate complications. It's common to experience mild cramping and vaginal discharge during this time. Following the procedure, your doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your recovery and discuss any post-procedure symptoms or concerns that could occur.

Why Choose The Center For Advanced Gynecology

The Center for Advanced Gynecology, established in 2018, is dedicated to improving your health by offering expertise in various areas, with a specific focus on gynecological care and advanced surgical techniques when surgery is needed.

Our team provides specialized expertise in non-surgical treatment of chronic pelvic pain, painful intercourse, pudendal neuralgia, and vaginal, vulvar, and bladder pain.

Since opening our doors, we have recognized the need in our community for more than just specialty care and have a growing practice in routine gynecologic care, cancer screening, Pap smears, menopausal management, hormonal imbalances, hormone replacement therapy, breast care, contraceptive care, urinary incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Abnormal uterine bleeding refers to irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than eight days. Endometrial ablation is a procedure aimed at treating abnormal bleeding by reducing or eliminating menstrual bleeding altogether.

The uterine lining, also known as the lining of the uterus, is the endometrial tissue that thickens and sheds during the menstrual cycle. Endometrial ablation focuses on removing or destroying this lining to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.

During the endometrial ablation procedure, the uterine lining is treated using various methods such as radiofrequency ablation, hydrothermal ablation, microwave energy, or heated fluid. These techniques aim to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.

During the endometrial ablation procedure, the uterine lining is treated using various methods such as radiofrequency ablation, hydrothermal ablation, microwave energy, or heated fluid. These techniques aim to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.

Endometrial ablation is typically performed under anesthesia, which can include spinal or epidural anesthesia. This helps minimize pain during the procedure. Some discomfort might be experienced afterward, but over-the-counter medications can help manage it.

A pelvic exam might be conducted to assess the uterus before endometrial ablation. An endometrial biopsy might also be necessary to rule out any abnormalities.

Endometrial ablation might be suggested for women who have had tubal ligation and experience heavy bleeding. It can be safe for those with a history of past uterine surgery, but the suitability will depend on individual circumstances and the type of past surgeries performed.

While there are potential risks like bleeding and infection, they are relatively rare. Tearing is also uncommon during the procedure.

Endometrial ablation is not a suitable treatment for endometrial hyperplasia or endometrial cancer. These conditions might require different treatments, and it's essential to consult with your doctor for proper evaluation and recommendations.