Alternatives to Hysterectomy

Gynecologists & Endometrial Ablation Specialists Located in Athens, GA
Alternatives to Hysterectomy

Alternatives to Hysterectomy services offered in Athens, GA

Women with noncancerous conditions can often bypass a hysterectomy and preserve their uterus by choosing to have an endometrial ablation. While this procedure can’t help all the conditions often treated with a hysterectomy, Clinton Ashford, MD, FACOG, and Rebecca Ashford, MD, at The Ashford Center in Athens, Georgia, specialize in using endometrial ablation as an alternative for several gynecological conditions. If you’ve been told you need a hysterectomy, schedule a consultation online or by phone today to learn if minimally invasive endometrial ablation is a good alternative for you.

Alternatives to Hysterectomy Q&A

When might I need a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is usually the first line of treatment when women are diagnosed with gynecological cancer or endometrial hyperplasia, which is a precancerous thickening of the uterine lining. If you don’t have cancer, however, a hysterectomy is the last option after other conservative treatments are implemented.

These are the gynecological conditions that are most likely to need a hysterectomy despite other treatment efforts:

  • Uterine fibroids: Noncancerous growths that develop in your uterine lining
  • Endometrial polyps: Noncancerous growths on the inner wall of your uterus
  • Endometriosis: Uterine tissue growth outside your uterus on the surface of your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic structures
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding: Heavy, long, or irregular periods
  • Adenomyosis: Uterine lining grows into the muscular layer of your uterus

Many of these conditions can be treated with a procedure other than a hysterectomy.

What are the alternatives to hysterectomy?

Alternatives do exist, but your choices are limited. You may choose a uterine artery embolization or myomectomy for uterine fibroids. Otherwise, you’d have few hysterectomy alternatives if not for endometrial ablation.

Endometrial ablation is commonly used to treat heavy periods and abnormal bleeding. The specialists at The Ashford Center have years of experience using the procedure to effectively treat endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and endometrial polyps.

What is endometrial ablation?

An endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to remove the thin layer of tissue lining your uterus. Dr. Ashford performs endometrial ablation using narrow surgical tools that easily pass through your cervix and into your uterus. 

A variety of techniques may be used to gently destroy the cells and eliminate your endometrial lining, including:

  • Electrocautery: uses mild electric current
  • Hydrothermal: uses heated fluids
  • Balloon therapy: uses a medical balloon filled with heated fluid
  • Cryoablation: uses freezing temperatures
  • Radiofrequency ablation: uses the heat produced by high-energy radio waves
  • Microwave ablation: uses the heat produced by microwaves

Dr. Ashford has expertise in all the different techniques, so he can choose the one that’s best for the condition being treated. For example, radiofrequency ablation is often the best choice for women with fibroids because it can destroy the fibroids while also removing the uterine lining.

After the uterine lining is removed, you can’t get pregnant. As a result, endometrial ablation is only appropriate for women who are sure they don’t want to have children.

If you’ve been advised to get a hysterectomy, call The Ashford Center or schedule a consultation online today to talk about your alternatives.