Question

Gynecology

What are possible complications of endometrial ablation?

A Answers (2)

  • AHealthwise answered

    Problems that can happen during endometrial ablation include:

    • Accidental puncture (perforation) of the uterus.
    • Burns (thermal injury) to the uterus or the surface of the bowel.
    • Buildup of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
    • Sudden blockage of arterial blood flow within the lung (pulmonary embolism).
    • Tearing of the opening of the uterus (cervical laceration).

    These problems are uncommon but can be severe.



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  • ALauren Streicher, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered
    Complications of endometrial ablation are rare, but like any surgical procedure, they can occur. Some women undergo ablation only to fail and then require another procedure, such as hysterectomy, to solve their problem. One concern on the part of gynecologists is potential long-term issues after a woman undergoes ablation. If a woman who has undergone endometrial ablation develops abnormal bleeding, the usual ways to evaluate this bleeding, such as ultrasound and endometrial biopsy, are not as reliable.

    And, while endometrial ablation doesn't increase the risk of uterine cancer (which strikes approximately 32,000 women each year), it might make early detection more difficult if women develop cancer years after the procedure, leading to a worse prognosis. Uterine cancer is usually diagnosed at an early stage -- and then is almost always curable -- due to the presence of abnormal uterine bleeding, which might be eradicated by the procedure.
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