Endometrial ablation is an alternative to hysterectomy
as a treatment for menstrual bleeding problems. The
procedure involves stripping the lining of the uterus so
that the tissue which produces the menstrual bleeding
is destroyed or 'ablated'.
Hormonal drugs may need to be taken for a perIod
before the operation in order to 'thin' the lining of the
uterus, and make the operation easier and more
The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic
and takes about 1 hour.
The cervix is dilated to allow a fibre-optic 'telescope'
called an hysteroscope to be inserted into the uterus so
that the lining can be seen.
The tissue lining the uterus can then be destroyed
laser, or stripped away using a hot, wire loop called a
resectoscope or a heated revolving ball.
After the operation, pain killers may be necessary
some light bleeding may occur.
The average hospital stay is 24-48 hours and normal
activities can usually be resumed in 2-3 weeks.
Menstrual periods may not be entirely abolished
following this procedure: 25% of women have no
periods; 40-50% have acceptable periods; and 25%
find the operation unhelpful in the long term.