Cryoablation is a safe and effective in-office endometrial ablation procedure designed to lighten, or, in some cases, completely eliminate abnormal uterine bleeding —also called menorrhagia. Cryoablation is designed for in-office use with the woman's comfort in mind. The sub-zero temperatures the procedure produces create a natural analgesic effect, making it pain-free.
Cryoablation technology has been in use in the medical field for many years, mostly in the treatment of conditions like uterine fibroids , Prostate cancer or liver cancer. Other endometrial ablation processes use energy or heat to reduce heavy bleeding; cryoablation uses sub-zero temperatures to accomplish the same result. Because thermal ablation uses heat to destroy the uterine lining, it is generally more invasive and therefore requires some form of anesthesia. Cryoablation is the safest option because it does not require cervical dilation or enlargement of the uterus.
Signs and Symptoms of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
There can be many causes of abnormal uterine bleeding, such as hormone imbalance, polyps, uterine fibroids or any number of other, rarer medical conditions. Complications from pregnancy and certain medications can also result in heavy periods. The most common symptoms of menorrhagia include:
- Nighttime bleeding that requires getting up to change pads or tampons
- Passing large blood clots during menstruation
- A period that lasts longer than seven days
- Symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath
How Does Cryoablation Work?
Cryoablation is the best choice for women with heavy periods who do not want a hysterectomy and for those who prefer to maintain their natural hormone balance. This proven, state-of-the-art procedure keeps your uterus and hormones fully intact—unlike other endometrial ablation procedures. Your doctor will start the cryoablation process by performing a sonogram of the uterus that is used to monitor progress from start to finish. The procedure itself typically takes between 10 and 20 minutes, and it is monitored using an abdominal ultrasound to ensure safety.
During the cryoablation procedure, your doctor will gently insert a slender probe through the vagina into the uterus. The probe is then cooled until the uterus reaches sub-zero temperatures. These freezing temperatures effectively destroy endometrium—or uterine lining—which is responsible for menstrual bleeding. Because the procedure eliminates the endometrium, there is less tissue to shed during each period, which dramatically lessens or completely eliminates bleeding. You may feel the probe move during the procedure, but it will not be painful because the pain receptors in the uterus are frozen, eliminating any perception of pain.
Results of Cryoablation
Immediately following treatment, some patients may experience some cramping similar to the pain you may feel during menstruation. Your doctor may offer a mild pain reliever to alleviate any discomfort. Within the first three months following the procedure, you should experience a reduction in bleeding, although it's not unusual to experience two to three normal menstrual cycles before you see the full effect of the treatment.
Results typically vary from woman to woman. Some women find their menstrual bleeding has been eliminated, but others will see it return to normal levels. Some women may experience spotting for a few days per month, too. Women who undergo this procedure often report additional benefits like feeling less fatigued and irritable, along with less cramping. Furthermore, cryoablation should not change your desire for or interest in sexual activity.
Request more information about cryoablation today. Call (718) 743-0505 or contact us online.