More than 2.5 million women every year visit their gynecologist because of excessive uterine bleeding, also called menorrhagia. This common ailment can drain a woman’s energy and her confidence. Fortunately, hydro-thermal ablation (HTA) can provide long-term relief for women with excessive menstrual bleeding.
HTA allows minimally invasive treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding. Because the treatment relies on the circulation of heated saline, which fills the uterine cavity, it has the unique ability to treat even those women whose uterine cavities have abnormal shapes and also some with fibroids.
A small probe is inserted into the uterus that includes a tiny telescope to allow visualization of the uterine cavity while room temperature saline solution is circulated through the uterine cavity. The fluid is then gradually heated to treat the lining of the uterus (the endometrium); the change in color of the lining shows the effect of the treatment. At the completion of the treatment phase, cool saline solution replaces the heated fluid and then the instrument is removed.
HTA takes about 30 minutes and can be done under local or general anesthesia. In women who participated in FDA trials and provided follow-up information after one year, 40 percent had complete elimination of their menstrual period and another 42 percent said their menstrual bleeding decreased to normal or lower levels.
Most women are on their feet and back to their normal schedules within 48 hours. The most common side effect is cramping, which can usually be relieved by taking a common pain reliever for 24 hours before and after HTA.