NovaSure® endometrial ablation destroys the lining of the uterus in a minimally invasive procedure to eliminate menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding). Menorrhagia, which causes pain, fatigue and other symptoms, is a common condition that affects 20 percent of women each year. A woman with menorrhagia has periods that last more than 7 days, are heavy enough to soak through a tampon or pad in an hour, and contain blood clots.
The NovaSure procedure is performed in a doctor’s office and takes an average of 5 minutes. Because the uterine lining is destroyed, the level of menstrual bleeding is significantly reduced, with many patients reporting lighter or no bleeding 12 months after treatment. Many patients also find that the pain, anxiety, lack of energy and other symptoms associated with heavy bleeding are eliminated after undergoing NovaSure endometrial ablation.
The NovaSure Procedure
During the NovaSure procedure, local anesthetic may be given to relieve any discomfort. The doctor dilates the cervix, and inserts a soft, thin wand through the vagina into the uterus. A triangular mesh device is extended through the wand; the mesh expands to fit the contours of the uterus. A precisely measured amount of radio-frequency energy is then delivered through the mesh for 90 seconds, helping to melt and destroy the endometrium (uterine lining). After the radio-frequency energy is applied, the mesh device is retracted and gently removed. The patient can return home when the procedure is complete.
Recovery After NovaSure Endometrial Ablation
After NovaSure endometrial ablation is performed, temporary side effects include cramping, pain, nausea, vomiting, vaginal discharge and bleeding. Downtime is minimal, however, and most patients return to work and other regular activities the next day.
Risks Of NovaSure Endometrial Ablation
Although NovaSure endometrial ablation is considered a safe treatment for menorrhagia, it does have certain associated risks, including the following:
- Thermal injury to uterine tissue
- Perforation of uterine wall
Only a woman who does not plan on getting pregnant should undergo the NovaSure procedure. Because it destroys the endometrium, getting pregnant may not be possible. A woman who does get pregnant following the procedure places herself and the fetus at risk, so using effective birth control is essential.
According to NovaSure developer Hologic, Inc., 95 percent of patients were satisfied with their results 12 months post-procedure.