Endometrial ablation is the surgical destruction of the uterine lining by various methods, including laser thermal ablation and thermal ablation, according to WebMD. Electricity, freezing and microwaving are additional endometrial ablation options.
An endometrial ablation does not require an incision, explains Mayo Clinic. The physician inserts a slim tool via the path between the vagina and the cervix. The type of tool used varies based on the type of procedure performed, but may include high energy radio frequencies, microwave energy or heated saline.
Thermal ablation uses one of three methods, which are radio frequency, normal saline and thermal balloon ablation, notes WebMD. In thermal balloon ablation, the medical professional performing the procedure places saline inside of a balloon and then heats it up to 85 degrees Celsius, or 185 degrees Fahrenheit. The normal saline method uses heated free liquid. Mayo Clinic notes that the condition and size of the uterus are factors a doctor considers in determining which method to use.
Used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and occurs in an outpatient setting, notes WebMD. The physician uses general, spinal or local anesthesia for the procedure. Scarring that develops as the endometrium heals prevents or reduces uterine bleeding.