Endometrial Ablation

Advanced Endometrial Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that gently removes the thin hormonal lining of the uterus through a variety of different methods. For most women, it completely stops menstrual bleeding and PMS and relieves the symptoms of many chronic conditions, including abnormal bleeding, fibroids, and endometriosis.

At The Ashford Center in Athens, Georgia, Dr. Clint Ashford and Dr. Rebecca Ashford specialize in treating problems related to heavy, painful, or irregular periods, as well as the hormonal imbalances and PMS that accompany them. The Advanced Endometrial Ablation procedure that Dr. Clint Ashford helped pioneer over a decade and a half ago is one of the greatest innovations in women’s health. It is proven to be a highly effective treatment for these problems.

Having performed more than 5,000 Advanced Endometrial Ablation procedures, Dr. Clint Ashford’s skill and expertise make him one of the leaders in the field. With a reputation that brings patients to The Ashford Center from across the Southeast, you can trust that Dr. Clint Ashford will know the best method to alleviate your symptoms.

What is Advanced Endometrial Ablation?

Advanced Endometrial Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that safely and gently removes the very thin layer of the hormonally-sensitive lining of the uterus. Typically, this lining, called the endometrium, responds to monthly hormonal changes: first, thickening, then maturing, then breaking down and shedding, resulting in a period each month.

The lining is removed through the cervix (a passageway between your vagina and uterus), where your doctor inserts very thin tools. No incisions are necessary during an endometrial ablation. 

The tools that are used during the endometrial ablation depend on the method. Methods such as heated fluid, radio-frequencies, and extreme cold might be used to ablate the endometrium. 

During the breaking-down phase, many PMS symptoms can occur, such as pain, headaches, fatigue, bloating, mood swings (sometimes they can be very severe), anxiety, and many other premenstrual complaints. Also, because of unbalanced hormones, the building up or breaking down phase of the monthly cycle can be delayed or prolonged, resulting in irregular, painful, or very heavy periods.

When the endometrium is removed with the Advanced Endometrial Ablation, periods for most women completely stop or are significantly lighter, and PMS symptoms are gone for good. As specialists in Advanced Endometrial Ablation, the Ashford Center has the best results. With over 85% percent of our patients NEVER having another period and the remaining 15% having dramatically diminished flow resulting in lighter, shorter periods, we are known for our success with Endometrial Ablations.

It is important to note that this procedure is only for women who have completed childbearing. Once the hormonal lining is removed, it will be very unlikely to conceive unless you have the procedure reversed. It is not impossible, but it will be difficult to become pregnant after the procedure.

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When might I need Advanced Endometrial Ablation?

Endometrial Ablation

The Advanced Endometrial Ablation procedure is a solution for any woman who has completed childbearing and who is having problems with her menstrual periods or associated PMS symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Fluid retention
  • Intense cramping
  • Bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Irratability
  • Anger
  • Excessive emotional feelings
  • Depression 

It is not uncommon for women to begin having hormonal imbalance problems as early as their thirties or as late as their mid-fifties. For any age, as long as childbearing is complete, the inconvenience of irregular, unpredictable, heavy, or painful periods can be permanently eliminated with this lightly invasive, pain-free, 90-second procedure.

The procedure also can help women diagnosed with:

In most cases, Advanced Endometrial Ablation is an effective alternative to a hysterectomy. When a hysterectomy is recommended to treat fibroids, endometriosis, or abnormal uterine bleeding, major surgery can usually be avoided by choosing Advanced Endometrial Ablation. However, a hysterectomy may be the best option if you have endometrial cancer or specific problems that will not be alleviated by an ablation.

How is NovaSure® Advanced Endometrial Ablation performed?

Advanced Endometrial Ablation can be performed using a variety of modalities. During your consultation, Dr. Ashford discusses which method is best for you.

Dr. Ashford is an expert in all the methods used for Advanced Endometrial Ablation which include:

  • Radio-frequency Ablation
  • This method uses heat that is generated by radio waves to target specific nerves. This enables the nerves to turn off their ability to send pain signals through the body. 
  • Hydrothermal Ablation 
  • This method uses a heated liquid that is inserted into the uterus. The heated fluid moves through the uterus, destroying the endometrial lining. Once the procedure is finished, your provider will remove the instrument and any excess liquid from your uterus. 
  • Cryo-Ablation
  • This method uses exceptionally cold gas to freeze and destroy the endometrium. Balls of ice form that can be tracked by your doctor. Depending on the size and shape of your uterus determines how many cycles will be required.

All methods used for Advanced Endometrial Ablation are minimally invasive and are done under light sedation at our Ambulatory Surgery Center. Tiny surgical instruments are inserted through the cervix and into the uterus, where cold gas, heated fluid, or radiofrequency is deployed to gently and effectively remove the thin, hormonally sensitive lining of the uterus (the endometrium). The uterus itself is left intact. The Advanced Endometrial Ablation does not affect the ovaries or the fallopian tubes, which are untouched and are left completely intact. The procedure is 100% pain-free!

What should I expect following NovaSure® Advanced Endometrial Ablation?

After the procedure, you may experience some of the following:

  • Discharge - It is normal to have a watery or bloody discharge following your procedure for a few hours to a few days. It is typically the heaviest for the first few days post-ablation.
  • Cramps - It is possible you may experience menstrual-like cramps for a few days post-surgery. Over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol or ibuprofen can help to alleviate cramping.
  • Frequent Urination - For the first 24 hours post endometrial ablation, you may feel the need to urinate more than usual. 

However, you should easily be able to get back to your normal routine within the first few days post-ablation.

To learn how Advanced Endometrial Ablation can relieve your symptoms, call The Ashford Center or book an appointment online today.

How long does endometrial ablation last?

Endometrial Ablation

Endometrial ablation is not only reversible (meaning when you are ready to become pregnant, it can be reversed) but also is effective for up to 10 years. Endometrial ablation provides long-term relief of heavy bleeding with minimal risk, making this an ideal treatment option. However, in some cases, the endometrial ablation does not always last. If your periods begin to get heavier and longer after having the procedure done, you should let your doctor know. It might be possible you require a different form of treatment.

Can I still get pregnant after endometrial ablation?

Pregnancy after endometrial ablation is unlikely, but it is not impossible. This can be risky for the patient. If you become pregnant following an ablation, severe and sometimes deadly problems can arise. Oftentimes, resulting pregnancies will have serious complications and end in miscarriages.

However, uterine ablative surgery is not a substitute for a hysterectomy or sterilization surgery; if that's what you want, talk to your doctor. Women should still use contraceptives (birth control) after uterine ablation to prevent pregnancy until menopause. 

What kinds of problems does endometrial ablation treat?

Endometrial ablation is a treatment for people who have an excessive amount of blood loss during their period. It might be helpful to you if you have:

  • Heavy periods that soak a pad or tampon every two hours or less
  • Bleeding that lasts longer than eight days 
  • Anemia from heavy blood loss

Before deciding to have an endometrial ablation to reduce menstrual bleeding, it might be possible for your doctor to prescribe medication or insert an intrauterine device (IUD). If these other options do not work for you, an endometrial ablation might be the next step for you. 

Is endometrial ablation painful?

Back discomfort is not typical; however, some abdominal cramping following ablation is to be expected. In uncommon instances, some women develop cyclic pelvic pain (CPP) right after the operation, which might last for months or even years. This may be an indication of failure in endometrial ablation late-onset. If you have a backache as a result of the operation, contact your doctor immediately.

Do you still have periods after endometrial ablation?

More than 90% of women who have endometrial ablation experience lighter periods or no period afterward. These changes may not last indefinitely, however. Your cycles may get heavier and longer over time. If this happens, your uterus must be removed. A hysterectomy is a term for this surgery.

What is the success rate of endometrial ablation?

Endometrial Ablation

Overall, the success rate for endometrial ablation-resection is 81.8%, which does not change over time. The success rate is close to 90% in people who have AUB without any other pathology. However, if you have a large uterus (10cm), myomas, or polyps, the success rate will be lower.

What are the side effects of endometrial ablation?

Complications of endometrial ablation procedures are extremely rare. In certain uncommon situations, there have been reports of additional discomfort and bleeding—even less common occurrences of illness. 

Heating or chilling adjacent organs. Surgical skill is always important. Although endometrial ablation is a non-surgical treatment, it will necessitate general anesthesia. There's always the danger that the patient will have an adverse reaction to anesthesia or suffer from a surgical complication.

What are the best results of Endometrial Ablation?

Patients report a general improvement in their symptoms after Endometrial Ablation surgery. There are short-term increases in pelvic pain and urgency immediately after Endometrial Ablation surgery, but these symptoms usually decrease with time.

Is NovaSure® Endometrial Ablation effective?

Endometrial ablations can cause complete or partial removal of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). The most common type of endometrial ablation is radio frequency ablation (RFA), where thin endometrial tissue is heated by radio waves so that it can be removed. Like any other procedure, there is always the risk of puncture injury of the uterine wall from surgical instruments.

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Can periods return after endometrial ablation?

The uterine lining of your womb is eliminated during an Endometrial Ablation. As a result, there's always a chance that your heavy periods will return after undergoing endometrial ablation. Patients have reported continued flow after the operation in some circumstances. However, this is uncommon, and menstrual flow is usually lighter as a result of the surgery.

How long does it take to heal after endometrial ablation?

Endometrial Ablation

You may have cramps and vaginal bleeding for several days. You may also have watery vaginal discharge mixed with blood for a few days post-ablation. It may take a few days to 2 weeks to recover.

Endometrial ablation may be performed on an outpatient basis and does not require hospitalization. Endometrial Ablation is a non-surgical procedure; however, it will require general anesthesia. You will need to arrange for transportation home after Endometrial Ablation, as you should not drive yourself after the procedure.

Does ablation cause weight gain?

A patient's weight is not affected by endometrial ablation. A patient's weight is affected by hormones and diet.

What is NovaSure® endometrial ablation?

Novasure® Endometrial Ablation is a non-surgical procedure. NovaSure® Endometrial Ablation gently removes the thin hormonal lining of the uterus. The NovaSure® procedure uses proprietary technology to precisely ablate each patient using their own individualized treatment. The device is inserted via the cervix to the uterus and emits radio-frequency energy that is precisely controlled to safely eliminate the endometrium, the uterine lining that falls away during a period.

The NovaSure® treatment is intended to remove just the uterine lining—the endometrium—which is the section of your body that can produce heavy periods, rather than the whole uterus.

NovaSure® endometrial ablation is a fast and painless procedure that can help women who have completed having kids and want to stop their heavy periods.

Should I consider Endometrial Ablation if I am at risk for Uterine Cancer?

Endometrial ablation is generally not recommended for those that have or suspect uterine cancer. We suggest speaking directly with our providers before making your decision. It is possible that we can work closely with your oncologist to determine the best course of action for you.