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Hydrothermal Endometrial Ablation

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 3, 2022.

What do I need to know about hydrothermal endometrial ablation?

Endometrial ablation is a procedure to remove the endometrium (lining of your uterus). You may need this procedure if you have heavy or abnormal vaginal bleeding. Hydrothermal means heated fluid is used during the procedure. You will not be able to become pregnant after this procedure. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about this procedure to make sure you do not want to have children in the future.

Female Reproductive System

How do I prepare for the procedure?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for the procedure. You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure. You will also be told what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure. You may need someone to drive you home after the procedure and stay with you to make sure you are okay.

What will happen during the procedure?

  • You may be given local anesthesia to numb the area. You may instead be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during the procedure. Your healthcare provider will widen the opening of your cervix. A tool will be guided into your uterus. Heated liquid will be sent through the tool and into your uterus.
  • The liquid will continue to flow until the lining is removed. This takes about 10 minutes. Your provider will control the heat and the pressure of the liquid. Liquid will not be allowed to move into your fallopian tubes or your abdomen. The system will automatically shut down if this happens.

What should I expect after the procedure?

You may feel some discomfort for a few days. This is normal and should stop soon. Contact your healthcare provider if any of the following becomes severe or continues:

  • Cramps, similar to menstrual cramps, for 1 to 2 days
  • Watery, bloody discharge for 2 to 3 days that may become light and last a few weeks
  • Frequent urination for 24 hours
  • Nausea

What are the risks of hydrothermal endometrial ablation?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection in your vagina, urinary tract, or uterus. Your cervix, uterus, or nearby organs may be burned or damaged. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. A blockage may form over months to years and cause blood to pool inside your uterus. This blockage may cause severe pain and you may need a hysterectomy. You may also need a hysterectomy if endometrial ablation does not work. Rarely, pregnancy can happen after hydrothermal endometrial ablation. Your risk for a miscarriage is much higher if you become pregnant after this procedure.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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