Types of Surgery in treating heavy periods

If medication isn't effective in treating your heavy periods, surgery is suggested.

Updated: November 2, 2017

When a women lose an excessive amount of blood during their period that is known as heavy periods. It can sometimes happen along with other symptoms, such as period pain.
Heavy bleeding doesn't always associated with serious health problems, but it can affect a woman physically and emotionally, and disrupt everyday life.

If medication isn't effective in treating your heavy periods, surgery is suggested.
If the cause is fibroids, you may be recommended either:

  •     uterine artery embolization
  •     myomectomy

If your heavy periods aren't caused by fibroids, your options include:

  •     endometrial ablation, where the womb lining is destroyed
  •     hysterectomy, where surgical removal of the womb is done


Uterine artery embolisation (UAE):

If the cause of heavy period is uterine fibroid, UAE can be done to shrink the fibriod. This procedure involves inserting a small tube into your groin. Small plastic beads are injected through the tube into the arteries supplying blood to the fibroid which blocks the arteries and causes the fibroid to shrink. This may take six months or more to be completely effective.

Advantages of UAE include:

  • effective in treating heavy periods caused by fibroids
  • hospitalization is only for one night
  • serious complications are rare

UAE may cause some pain after the blood supply is removed, and strong painkillers are needed for about eight hours.  As there are potential risks to your fertility, this procedure is not suggested for those who have plans to get pregnant in the future. In some cases UAE may be required again later on.

Myomectomy:

This is a a surgical procedure in which fibroids can be removed.But it isn't suitable for every type of fibroid. Looking to the type of fibroid, whether a myomectomy is possible and what are the possible complications can be decided by a specialist.

Endometrial ablation:

Different techniques can be used for endometrial ablation to destroy the womb lining.
  • Microwave endometrial ablation is a procedure where a probe uses microwave energy (a type of radiation). The probe is inserted into the womb to heat and destroy the womb lining by the radiation.
  • Thermal balloon ablation is another technique where a balloon is inserted into your womb and inflated and heated to destroy the womb lining.

These procedures can be carried out either under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. These are very quick procedures which usually takes around 20 minutes, and you can often go home on the same day.

Some vaginal bleeding similar to a light period may be there for a few days after endometrial ablation. Some women can have bloody discharge for three or four weeks. Sanitary towels rather than tampons are advisable to use in this case. Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen will be given if you experience tummy cramps, similar to period pains, for a day or two after the procedure. If you experiencing more severe or prolonged pain after having endometrial ablation, consult your doctor for stronger painkiller.

The risk of problems, such as miscarriage, is high after having endometrial ablation. So its not advisable to get pregnant after having endometrial ablation. If the procedure fails, you may be offered a repeat treatment. 

Hysterectomy:

After all other options have been tried or discussed, nothing works out then hysterectomy should only be considered. This should be the last option as it involves complete removal of the womb which will stop any future periods.
You won't be able to get pregnant after having a hysterectomy. The operation and recovery time are longer than other surgical techniques for treating heavy periods.



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