Gynecology - Endometrial Ablation (Minimally Invasive Surgery)
The cyclic shedding of the uterine lining, the endometrium, causes the monthly menses. For some women, the menses can become very heavy and prolonged. Endometrial ablation is one procedure used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. By cauterizing and destroying the endometrium, the menses can be drastically reduced or eliminated. Traditionally, endometrial ablation has been done by the Rollerball method. Through a hysteroscope, electric current can be passed to a Rollerball probe to cauterize the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, in order to perform endometrial ablation.
With the endometrial lining cauterized, the patient should have no further menses at all in the majority of cases. The patient still has the benefit of retaining her uterus, ovaries, and all her normal hormone functions, but she will have no more periods. Dr. Lau is one of the pioneers in hysteroscopic Rollerball endometrial ablation and has performed hundreds of these cases over the last twenty years.
Due to the technical challenge, only a limited number of gynecologists can perform hysteroscopic Rollerball endometrial ablation. For that reason, in recent years, the method of global endometrial ablation has been developed to perform the procedure in a semi-automated process, making it available to a wider proportion of gynecologists. Dr. Lau is also a pioneer in the development of global endometrial ablation, being one of the first surgeons to use microwave for endometrial ablation in the U.S.
Currently, Dr. Lau is actively doing endometrial ablation using Her Option cryoablation system in the office without the need of general anesthesia. Cryoablation destroys the endometrial lining by using a freezing technique. Because of the effectiveness of Her Option endometrial ablation and the minimal down time from the procedure, this procedure has been met with great patient satisfaction.
A woman is a suitable candidate for endometrial ablation if she has abnormally heavy or prolonged menstrual periods and has completed childbearing. Endometrial ablation will destroy the uterine lining so that a pregnancy cannot be supported. Also, other causes of heavy menstrual bleeding with different treatment needs must be ruled out before performing endometrial ablation.
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