Ablation is defined as “the surgical removal of body tissue.” There are two major types of common ablation procedures. The first is cardiac ablation, which is used to treat heart arrhythmia and abnormal heart rhythms. The second is uterine ablation, which is used to treat the endometrial layer of the uterus. Both types of ablation involve the carefully planned destruction of specific areas of tissue.
During uterine ablation, the endometrial layer of the uterus is, essentially, carefully destroyed. Uterine ablation can be done by using one of these methods: microwave, freezing, heat, laser, or electricity. The procedure is typically done in an out-patient procedure, and healing time takes between one and two weeks.
Uterine ablation should only be performed on women who do not plan to have any more children, as the procedure leaves the uterus unable to support pregnancy. Additionally, it really needs to be considered after any and all less invasive treatments have all been tried first. In the event the ablation does not work, another procedure may be required. For those women who have severe fibroids or adenomyosis causing their heavy bleeding, they may find no success with this procedure. If the uterine ablation is unsuccessful, a hysterectomy may be the only last solution to stop heavy bleeding from happening.
Statistics on success rates vary according to source. The National Institute of Health conducted a study from 2004-2009 that had a success rate (success meaning satisfaction with procedure and either light or no bleeding 5 years after the procedure) of 80.4%.