Endometrial ablation

What is an endometrial ablation?

This procedure is utilised as a treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding.

  • It involves a general anaesthetic and a controlled cauterisation of the endometrium. This is the area which the uterus sheds during menstruation.
  • It may be a suitable alternative to hysterectomy, but has higher rates of recurrence (heavy bleeding returns) compared to hysterectomy.
  • It may not be a suitable choice when women with fibroids, endometrial hyperplasia or malignancy, or endometriosis.

When is an endometrial ablation performed?

When a patient has heavy menstrual bleeding, non-surgical treatment have failed or are not appropriate.

How is it the procedure performed?

Location: at Wakefield Specialist Centre.

Anaesthetic: the procedure is performed under general anaesthetic, meaning a patient is asleep.

Duration of the operation: a hysteroscopy is performed at the same time, the surgery takes 30-45 minutes.

What should I expect after an endometrial ablation?

When you wake up: you will have an IV line in the arm or hand. Oral pain relief is usually all that is required.

Nights in hospital: most patients will go home the same day (day-case surgery).

Time off work: 1 week (back to work the following Monday).

When back to normal functioning: as soon as you feel able, with no pain or discomfort.

Follow-up

  • This will occur 3-6 weeks after the initial operation.
  • If any issues occur when discharged home, patients can contact the Wakefield Specialist Centre directly.
  • Dr McDowell and Bedford will be on call to assist when necessary.

Further reading

Further information

Symptoms

Bleeding between periods

This is quite common, and if you experience just a single episode you need not be overly concerned. Common causes are oral contraceptives and other hormonal therapies. Persistent bleeding may be caused by genital tract infections, polyps within the uterus or cervix, or possibly cervical cancer. Find out more

Heavy periods

Typically women may menstruate (bleed) for 2-5 days, and lose around 30-40ml of blood. Abnormally heavy bleeding is when: your periods last longer than 7 days; the volume is more than 80ml; there is flooding or clotting; you are anaemic. Find out more

Irregular or unscheduled bleeding

There are a number of causes of irregular bleeding, and our investigations will depend a bit on your age and fertility plans. Common causes can include endometriosis, infection, instability of the lining of the womb, ovarian cysts, perimenopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome, polyps, and early pregnancy. Find out more

Prolonged periods

If your period lasts more than 7 days, you have prolonged bleeding. The term is often used synonymously with menorrhogia (heavy bleeding), but is more descriptive of periods that go on for an annoyingly long time. Find out more