Suffering from heavy periods? Have you been advised a hysterectomy (removal of uterus)? think again………..
Give me 10 minutes to simplify this problem !! says, Dr Mitali Vasavada, Gynecologist
Menorrhagia or heavy periods, is a common disorder for many reproductive age women, with significant impact on their medical, social, economic, and psychological well-being.
What are the causes for heavy periods?
The cause of HMB (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding) is not known in the majority of cases, in which no pelvic or organic pathology is identified. However, HMB may have structural organic causes such as fibroids, adenomyosis, polyps, infections, pre-cancerous conditions or hematological disorders.
How can this be treated?
Medical treatment in form of pills and injections are usually the first line of treatment offered to women.
However, medical therapy may be fraught with side-effects and symptoms of menorrhagia invariably return once therapy is stopped.
Surgical treatment is usually offered to patients who do not respond to drug treatment.
What is the surgical treatment that is offered?
Hysterectomy (removing the uterus ) is the only permanent treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding that guarantees amenorrhoea (complete cessation of menstrual periods), but it is associated with pre and postoperative complications, including incontinence and other urinary problems, fatigue, infection, pelvic pain and sexual problems apart from immediate complications such as bleeding and organ damage . Overall, 1 in 30 women suffers a major adverse event during or soon after the operation. Additionally, the procedure has a mortality rate of 0.4–1.1 per 1000 operations. Hysterectomy is costly and has significant resource implications, long operating theater times and a hospital stay of up to 7 days after the operation. Full recovery may take 1–3 months.
Is there any alternatives to this ?
NICE and the royal college UK ( these are internationally accredited organizations in gynecology) have recommended that fluid-filled thermal balloon endometrial ablation should be offered to a woman with heavy menstrual bleeding where surgery is being considered as an appropriate way to manage her bleeding.
Thermal balloon ablation is thus a great new option to consider prior to undergoing full blown surgery.
What are the advantages of this treatment over traditional hysterectomy?
Advantages of Thermal Endometrial Ablation
- Relatively risk free
- Minimally invasive
- No cuts
- Takes just 10 minutes
- Post op recovery almost immediate (you walk back home!!)
- Stops your bleeding immediately
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Author of this article is Dr Mitali Vasavada, MBBS DGO MRCOG (UK)