Questions about Endometrial Ablation

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I know many of you have had this procedure and FINALLY my Dr suggested it for me. I am very interested and have already set up an appointment for a uterine biopsy mid-April. My Dr will perform this procedure in her office. I can't tell you how excited I am about the promised results. The past couple of years have really been difficult and the only thing that has helped has been progesterone medications at the start of my period for 3 days. Otherwise, it is pure he// and I am practically housebound not to mention broke from all the danged supplies I go through!

    But before I proceed, I would love to hear some stories from you all. Please don't hesitate to share your worst experience as well as your best!!! Thanks in advance~
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

  3. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I had a uterus the size of a 16 week gestation. My gyn told me that I might bleed to death with ablation (this was 10 years ago...). He talked me into an hysterectomy. The pathologist was a coworker of husband and was concerned about the appearance of my uterus, he worked overtime and found the smallest endometrial cancer they had ever see, just developing. The odds of finding those couple cells with a biopsy were astronomically small.

    To be honest, if you can keep your uterus (assuming no pathology), try to do so. My "toe curlers" stopped being marvelously intense!
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thank you Suz and that reference 3Shadows! Hahaha.

    I am trying to do some research but I hesitate to do a random on-line search because there are just too many flakes out there who post all sorts of nonsense. And there are those who are so against any medical intervention whatsoever that they start websites just to freak people out. I figured asking here would result in some honest answers.

    Thanks again.
  5. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    One of my sisters had this done and LOVED it. Said she didn't have a period for over 2 years and then it was light.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Haven't had either done, but to tack on 3S comment, I had the same experience after my c-section. Supposedly, losing that is "rare", but I hear it much more often then the pros claim.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am not sure if I posted on your other thread. I had a total hysterectomy several years ago. I had quite a number of problems including PMDD, excruciatingly painful periods for years, cysts on my ovaries, endometriosis and my uterus was falling out. I had also had a bad pap smear and laser cauterization years and eyars before. The uterus was badly tipped before it started detaching from my body, but still.

    Now with medications and an ablation and surgery to reanchor the uterus I could have kept all the parts in me. medications would be for the PMDD. The surgery to re attach the uterus was supposed to be "minor" and done through the belly button.

    My doctor (who I trust 1000% and has NEVER steered me wrong - the best doctor of ALL the docs I have ever seen) told me he would not do an ablation. He said he was strongly recommending against them to his patients. He had performed them for several years and after 5 years he found that a high percentage of the ablations had to be redone. He had reviewed the notes from all of the patients that he and his partners had done this procedure to, as well as from patients in a former practice in my town (he had moved to a town about 2 hours away and about 75% of his patients FOLLOWED him from our town to this new office when he moved - he is THAT awesome a doctor) AND patients from free clinics in our town and his new town. He started teh free clinics and was reviewing charts to write this up.

    Total it was at least 8 different doctors' patients he reviewed. And after anywhere from 12 months to 4 years the procedure had to be either redone or a hysterectomy had to be done in many of the cases.

    He also said they were having an incredibly tough time having the second, or even third ablation for the same patient approved by insurance.

    Granted, it has been over 7 years, so it is entirely possible the procedure has changed in substantial ways and is a longer lasting form of relief for most patients. But you should ask the doctor how often the ablation just doesn't work, and how long it will last for. Hopefully things are much better in the way the ablation is done and it will give you many years of relief.

    I will say that I have NEVER regretted my hysterectomy. I take a small dose of estrogen daily and have had no problems due to that either. I actually take LESS estrogen now than I did before the surgery. (But that is problem due to my system's oddity, not a common thing!)

    Whatever you have done, I hope it has the best possible result and those results last for as long as you need them! I also hope you have a fast recovery and no complications. You will feel SOOOOO much better after you get this taken care of.

    With ablations and hysterectomies, remember that they will pump you full of air. Be SURE to have some gas-x or other medication with simethicone to help with the gas. It makes a huge difference. If you will be in the hospital overnight make sure the doctor has orders for the medicine written down - AND that you have some in your purse or bag in case the hospital pharmacy doesn't have any. They like to give you a stool softener while you are in the hospital, but it won't help wtih the gas cramps.

    And if the cramps get bad and you need a hot pack have the nurses microwave a wet towel and tehn put it in a plastic bag and wrapped in another towel. It makes a BIG difference with the gas cramps too. I found they did not want to microwave my rice bag in the hospital but they would do that.

    I am glad your doctor is now willing to help you with this problem. I know it has been rough for quite a while for you.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hey Susie,

    The ablation they are offering me at this moment was not available 7 years ago; I am hoping for the best. They did say that it has a 98.7% success rate, so if that's telling, I will take the chance. I had toyed with the idea of just having a partial hysterectomy, honestly, but my Dr said that my complications are not so severe to warrant that kind of surgery. She said she would do it if I insisted, but she really felt this was a better way to go.

    The method of ablation my Dr is offering is Thermochoice - they put a small balloon into the uterus and fill it with scalding hot water, which cauterizes the lining of the uterus, the endometrial wall, which then disables it from thickening (as it does for a period), thus eliminating or very nearly eliminating the heavy periods and pains that accompany it. At least, this the idea. It is performed either in my Dr's office or as an outpatient at the hospital. I chose to have it done in the office with another Dr who has done at least 100. She said that out of all her patients only one asked to stop about half way through and she said she still had some decent results. Anyway, that is why I'm asking.

    Thanks again for all the input.
  9. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    I had this done back in October, and with wonderful results. My dr. did it in day stay in the hospital. I am 42. I have had a period since. First he did the biopsy about 2 weeks before. The day of the procedure they did a complete D&C to thin out the lining then the ablation. I was crampy for a few days, nothing major. I was in and out of day stay in about 4 hours, and went for lunch at a restaurant right after we left the hospital. My dr. said it is good for about 4-5 years. Usually at that point the patient is in peri menopause or total menopause and nature takes over. He did say they don't usually do it a second time because at that point the uterus is very thin and the chance of rupturing thru the wall is higher. So if the ablation does not work the next step would be a hystro. Now, keep in mind some insurance companies require the ablation first to see if that will take care of the problem before they authorize a hystro. Good luck. It has helped me so much.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    bby3 - are your periods lighter and less agonizing though? I don't mind having my periods, just not like what I've been experiencing. That's the hope I have in this procedure. It would really stink if I have it and then still have the pain and horrors I've had these past couple of years.
  11. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    Well I will say, I haven't had a period since the ablation, but...I still do get bloated feeling and crampy around that time of the month. Like its going to come, but doesn't??
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had a hysterectomy. I still get my toes curled pretty good! LOL!

    I still have my ovaries. I still ovulate and get PMS symptoms.

    Would I do it again? If the ablation was an option I would try that first for sure. It was not for me. That was not my problem. But, I do think you are right to try it first. I do not regret my decision because I was preventing cancer, but I do wish my problem was fixable with some other option.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Jo, with a 98.7% success rate I would have gone with the ablation too!!! I heard about this method when I was debating this issue, but it wasn't available. What they did then was take a roller thing that got very hot and rolled it over the uterus. It was like a very small rolling pin on a long handle. I think maybe the roller wasn't shaped like the uterus and didn't conform, thus the problems.

    If this had been available and my problems had not been as much ovarian as other, I would have done the ablation first.

    But I don't regret the hysterectomy. It fit the problems I had and what was available at the time.

    I hope everything goes wonderfully and you are up and about and feeling wonderful later that day!
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hope everything goes smoothly. I know someone who had this done years ago and I think they did it with the water. I really cant remember clearly. I had the partial hysterectomy but I also had baseball sized fibroid tumors so I needed it. I am glad I had it done...didnt need that in me
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I have three older sisters. They all fancy themselves to be the Original Mother Earth; I will admit that I also like to believe that I almost always take the most "natural" way around a problem or issue, medical or not. I have tried to handle this naturally, I really have. Exercise hasn't helped, diet hasn't helped, and although technically taking progesterone is not exactly 'natural', it isn't surgery and that hasn't done wonders either. I just want it fixed. I want the agony to end.

    Honestly, I wasn't going to tell my sisters about this at all but I made the mistake of telling one of them this morning...and I could tell that she wanted to lambast me on the spot...she did say a few things, but was clearly holding her tongue as best she could-she is the oldest (63). I finally said, "I know you're not happy about this, but this is better than the alternatives, which is a partial hysterectomy or I can just live with it until I finally go into full meno" and she said, "Well, we all went through it, the heavy bleeding, the pain, etc. Why do you need a quick fix?" Hmmmm, either I have a low tolerance for this kind of carp or my symptoms are worse than hers were, I don't know. But I just said, "Look, I will let you know how it goes, but I feel that this is the right choice for me and my doctors agrees".

    I understand her misgivings about any interventions...I mean, let's face it, putting a silicone balloon into your uterus and filling it with scalding water is not something mammals do in nature. And maybe my symptoms aren't so bad relatively speaking...but for ME, I am at my wits end and this seems like a compromise to me. I don't want a hysto, but I can't live like this anymore. This seems like a middle ground of sorts and my Dr(s) agree. And I am not one who blindly allows doctors to make decisions for me. I had every intention of asking for info about this when I went to my annual appointment so when my Dr brought it up, it made perfect sense to me that this may be a step I take.

    Just a vent. Urgh. Family.
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    And I don't suppose your sis has ever taken an antibiotic to beat an infection, huh? Or had to go to the emergency room? Ever.

    Do what you need to do for you. Its not like you're there just 'cause its inconvenient...maybe your sis will take over your life for you those 3 or 4 days each and every month that your life stops...
  17. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Jo, I had this done two weeks ago due to heavy bleeding ever since I hit perimenopause. Low dose hormones weren't helping much anymore and I wasn't a good candidate for stronger stuff due to blood pressure problems. I'd even had a 2nd D&C back in Oct and I was back to the heavy bleeding, only this time when it kicked back in the cycle was off and it just didn't end. The doctor found a large polyp when he did the ablation.

    I was told by women who'd been through it that recovery was much better if they didn't do anything for 2-3 days and I'd pass that advice along. I had to get back in full gear after that and it was no problem.

    I understand about the Mother Earth sisters. I have a sister in law like that and she was freaked out when I described the ablation procedure. I'm of the opinion that any woman who doesn't have to live with not being able to leave the house because they need the bathroom every 20 minutes has no right to make a call for me. Also, I did find a week later that I was feeling perkier than I have in months. Even though I was never anemic, I'm sure now that I was more run down from the cycles than I realized. If this doesn't work I'm going for a hysterectomy for sure.

    Good luck and I hope it helps you. Too soon to tell for me. My doctor says whereever you are 4 months out is likely where you'll be at down the road a year.
  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks Susie and SRL~

    SRL, thank you for sharing your most recent experience. I can't wait to compare notes on how we're doing later this year...I hope we're both living in a way that suits each of us in this regard.

    My sisters. I know they mean well and they are all about doing things the natural way when it comes to 'womanly issues', however, they pop ambien, muscle relaxers and ibuprofen like they are I try not to listen to much of their comments. Thanks Susie for making that comparison. I will have to remember that when one of them tells me I'm crazy for doing this.
  19. Lilie

    Lilie New Member

    Hello to all, I had an endometrial ablation 3-2006 they were fairly new in my area, NH. It has been spectactular!! Till 1-2011 I have had no symptoms of my prior very difficult menses. I am now 44 and since 1-2011 my heavy monthly "friend" has come back, I consulted my gyn. last week, just hoping he would say I could do another ablation and he said he would recomment a LAVH, hysterectomy, that a 2nd ablation may not give me the best results. He gave me two booklets, one for the ablation and one for hysterectomies in general (6+ different kinds) and set me up with an appointment. for an ultrasound in Aug. By chance anyone out there ever had 2 ablations??????
    I would definitely highly recommend the ablation procedure, was truly easy, outpatient procedure, 1-2 days of cramping afterwards, back to work and than, 5+ years of no monthly problems.
  20. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I had my ablation done in January 2011. I have not had a period since then. I am not anemic any longer. I feel so much better. I can do things and go places that I would have had to cancel due to my period starting. I do get a little bloating and back ache and light cramping when it's time for my period but no bleeding. I only wish that I would have done it sooner.