is a procedure used to destroy, or ablate, the uterine wall lining. The procedure can be effective in treating hypermenorrhea or menorrhagia, or other disorders that cause excessive menstrual flow. The uterine lining heals by scarring over after the surgery, which reduces or prevents excessive uterine bleeding.
Endometrial ablation surgery is most commonly performed in the hospital, but may also be done in an outpatient facility. Most frequently, local or spinal anesthesia is administered, but in some cases, general anesthesia may be used. The type of anesthesia used may affect what to expect after endometrial ablation.
After endometrial ablation, a full recovery can be expected in about two weeks, although it will take from 3-6 months to determine if the surgery was a success. Of course, recovery time will vary from person to person, but this is a general estimate. If general anesthesia was given, rest will be necessary immediately following the surgery, until the effects have worn off. Pain medication may also be necessary to deal with lingering pain and discomfort afterwards.
However, once the effects of the anesthesia are gone, you will be able to go home whenever you are ready. If this is within 48 hours of the completion of surgery, you should not drive. Arrange for a friend or relative to take you home, and rest as much as possible.
There will be vaginal bleeding after endometrial ablation. It is not recommended that tampons be used at this sensitive time. Instead, sanitary napkins should be used. It is also recommended that you don't use tampons for at least one month after the surgery, as they can increase the risk of developing an infection.
Normal activities, such as working, driving, cooking, etc, can be resumed in just a few days after endometrial ablation, as soon as the patient feels up to it. Sexual activity can be resumed after the first follow-up appointment with your doctor, which should be scheduled 7-10 days after the procedure.
It is possible that heavy periods may return, especially in younger women, and another endometrial ablation surgery may be needed. This is because they have longer to regenerate the cells in the uterus, and the lining that caused excessive bleeding in the first place. Younger women, in general, are also more likely to continue having a light period after endometrial ablation. Women approaching menopause, however, usually have a high success rate and a low chance of a repeat endometrial ablation being necessary.