New Technique Used To Treat Menstrual Bleeding
Posted January 17, 2005 4:16 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — One in five women experience abnormal or excessive uterine bleeding. Many of them end up having a hysterectomy to address the problem. There is a newer, less drastic treatment option.
Until Kelly Wooten was 37, she always had normal mentrual cycles.
"Then all of the sudden, it was every two days, every two weeks. It progressively got worse as I turned 40," she said.
Wooten's bleeding was heavy and unpredictable. Not even birth control pills could help regulate her cycles. Dr. Robert Littleton at Rex Healthcare treated a friend of Wooten's who had the same problem.
"I could see how it changed her life and so I decided to see Dr. Littleton," Wooten said.
Littleton performs endometrial ablation with a new technique called Novasure, which does not have any incisions. In the procedure, an umbrella-like device is deployed in the uterine cavity.
"Over an average time of 90 seconds, it ablates or vaporizes the lining of the uterus as well as the superficial muscle inside the uterus to get rid of the bleeding," she said.
Health experts said it is a quick procedure that requires light anesthesia and 30 minutes in recovery.
"[There's] no more pain than just menstrual cramps," Wooten said.
"You get a 96 percent satisfaction rate among patients and 98 percent of patients would recommend this procedure to a friend," Littleton said.
Wooten was back to work the next day and the bleeding stopped.
"This is a wonderful procedure. It changed my life and there's no reason to walk around having that kind of irregular vaginal bleeding when you don't have to," she said.
Before performing endometrial ablation, doctors need to make sure cancer is not the cause for bleeding. Also, the procedure can only be done for women who do not plan to become pregnant.