What is endometrial resection?
Endometrial resection is a procedure involving the removal of a woman’s endometrium (the lining of the uterus) with an electrosurgical wire loop to prevent excessive bleeding during menstruation. In most cases, this procedure significantly reduces or stops blood flow.
When is it used?
Endometrial resection is used to treat chronic, abnormally heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, a condition known as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB). Types of DUB include menorrhagia and metrorrhagia.
What are the benefits associated with this procedure?
Bleeding from the uterus should stop or decrease because the lining of the uterus has been destroyed. This procedure can help you avoid the discomfort, hospitalization, expense, and longer recovery of a hysterectomy.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
As with any procedure, there are risks. Be sure to discuss the following risks with your physician prior to the procedure:
- Damage to a vein or artery that could cause serious bleeding.
- Making a hole in your uterus (perforation) that could cause dangerous bleeding or make it impossible for your doctor to finish the operation.
- You may have difficulty emptying your bladder.
- You may develop infection in your uterus and pelvis.
- Your menstrual bleeding may not improve or you may develop pain like severe menstrual cramps.
How do I prepare for an endometrial resection?
Follow your health care provider’s instructions about not smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers heal more slowly after surgery. They are also more likely to have breathing problems during surgery. For this reason, if you are a smoker, you should quit at least 2 weeks before the procedure. It is best to quit 6 to 8 weeks before surgery. Also, your wounds will heal much better if you do not smoke after surgery
Follow any other instructions your provider gives you. If you are to have general anesthesia, eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before surgery. Do not eat or drink after midnight. Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water.
What happens after the procedure?
Recovery typically takes a day or two. Please plan to have someone assist you during this time, and get lots of rest. Following the procedure, the uterine wall will heal through scarring, which further reduces or prevents uterine bleeding. Many women experience symptoms such as cramping or a watery, pink discharge following the procedure. This may last for up to two weeks and pain medication may be prescribed, if necessary. Women may be advised to avoid strenuous activity for a 24-hour period. They may also be advised to refrain from sexual intercourse for one to two weeks, until the discharge has stopped.
Women who have resection still have all of their reproductive organs. As a result, they will need to continue to have regular Pap smears and pelvic examinations. Although resection destroys the uterine lining, there remains a very small chance that pregnancy could occur. Such pregnancies can be dangerous for the mother and the fetus. As a result, women who have these procedures must continue to use contraception.
Women should take progesterone to reduce the risk of developing uterine cancer. Because ablation has been performed for only about two decades, the long-term effects of the procedure are largely unknown.
When should I call Greenville OB/GYN?
Call our emergency number at any time if:
- You have a fever.
Call during regular office hours if:
- You have questions about the procedure or its result.
- You want to make another appointment.