Endometrial ablation is a non-surgical solution to remedy heavy bleeding during menstruation in women. Alternatively known as uterine balloon therapy, it is a short procedure in which the uterine wall is treated so that the intensity of your menstrual bleed decreases.
There are different techniques used in endometrial ablations - including using different types of energies depending on the requirement. Hot fluids, extreme cold or different frequencies, any can be used. One of these procedures is called thermachoice endometrial ablation. Another popular option is Novasure which uses an electrical mesh to destroy the lining. A third option is the HTA system in which a small probe is inserted into the uterus and parts of the endometrial wall are destroyed using electrical pulses.
Thermachoice endometrial ablation can be carried out at the doctor's clinic and does not require a hospital visit. Under local anaesthesia, the doctor inserts an inflatable, silicon balloon into the uterus. This balloon is inserted through the vagina and cervix, therefore preventing an incision. Once this balloon is inserted, it is inflated with fluid to enable the balloon to take the shape of the uterus. The fluid is then heated and circulated in the uterus. The balloon remained inflated and heated for about 8 minutes. This entire procedure can take about 30 minutes.
This procedure cannot be carried out on women who plan to get pregnant. This process or any other endometrial ablation destroys the lining. So getting pregnant after this process can be very dangerous for the mother and for the baby. It's mostly done on premenopausal women who are suffering from menorrhagia or on women who have had their babies and are suffering from excessive bleeding but still want to keep their uterus.
The immediate effect is that your body will shed its uterine lining as period discharge for the next 7 to 10 days. For some women, it leads to a reduction in eventual period flow while in other women; it could also lead to a complete stop in menstruation.
Endometrial ablation is used as an alternative to a hysterectomy but there are statistics that show that though most women do see reduced bleeding, one cannot rule out the need for an eventual hysterectomy.
The effects of this procedure will disappear after a few months. It's also important to continue contraception. The CPT code for endometrial ablation is 58353 and 58563 and usually insurance covers one ablation in your medical history.