Endometrial Ablation: Women Say Goodbye to Monthly Visitor: June 6, 2012

For Cathy Huffman, her ‘monthly visitor’ had become an unwelcome guest. Painful periods were ruining her life.

“I knew that it was going to do nothing but get worse and then when it actually did happen it was cramping, heavy bleeding, clotting.”

Her menstrual cycle affected her up to three weeks each month. After years of living like that, Cathy was at a breaking point.

“And when the doctor asked me if I had ever thought about not having a period again, and I thought to myself who doesn’t think about that?” says Huffman.

“Some patients become anemic, light headed, dizzy, during their periods, too emotional, they don’t deal with their surroundings as well or have to miss work,” says Dr. Ed Halpren, an obstetrician/gynecologist on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

Dr. Halpren felt Cathy was a good candidate for global endometrial ablation.

“We use a radio frequency probe which takes about ninety seconds. The patients sometimes do it under local anesthesia, meaning they get an injection, so they’re numb like you went to a dentist office,” says Dr. Halpren.

The ablation procedure vaporizes the lining of the uterus. Performed in minutes, right in the doctor’s office, the procedure is considered a less invasive alternative to a hysterectomy.

“About 90% of patients are very happy with the procedure, meaning the amount of blood flow that they have is either reduced dramatically and about 50% have no flow at all,” says Dr. Halpren.

It has given Cathy control of her life.

“It’s fantastic, being able to do what I want when I want.”

Endometrial ablation is helping scores of women say goodbye to their periods, period.