Endometrial Ablation is performed on patients who suffer from menorrhagia (heavy periods). Heavy periods can affect many aspects of your life, including emotional and physical health. They can also increase your risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia, a condition where you don’t have enough red blood cells to transport the oxygen around your body, which can make you tired and breathless.
Endometrial Ablation has replaced the need for hysterectomy in many cases, has fewer complications and a quicker recovery time. The type of Endometrial Ablation we use at Baddow Hospital is called Novasure (www.novasure.com), a procedure which removes the lining (endometrium) of the womb (uterus).
Following this procedure, most women experience a noticeable reduction in their periods and, in some cases, their periods stop completely.
The operation may be performed as a day case and usually takes about 30-45 minutes, including the time needed for anaesthesia and recovery after the procedure.
The operation starts with a Hysteroscopy, which allows the Consultant Gynaecologist to have a look in the womb by using a special telescope. After slightly dilating your cervix and inserting a slender wand, your Consultant Gynaecologist will extend a triangular mesh device into your uterus. The mesh gently expands, conforming to the dimensions of your uterine cavity. Precisely-measured radio frequency energy is delivered through the mesh for approximately 90 seconds before the mesh device is retracted back into the wand and both are removed from your uterus.
At Baddow Hospital, Endometrial Ablation is performed as a day case procedure and you will be allowed home the same day. Your nurse will make sure you have had something to eat and drink and have passed urine before you are discharged. You should have someone drive you home and stay with you overnight.
During the first 24-hours, you may feel sleepier than normal, which is mainly due to the general anaesthetic. Avoid driving, operating machinery or signing important documents during this time.
Following the procedure, you may feel some slight ‘crampy’ pains, like period pains. This should not last long but you may take your usual form of painkillers if required. To help lower your risk of infection, use sanitary towels rather than tampons after having an Endometrial Ablation – your surgeon will tell you when you can use tampons again.
You may have a small amount of bleeding vaginally, gradually turning to a brownish discharge, but this should stop within a week or so.
You should feel well enough to resume normal activities within a week and be able to return to work thereafter.