Her Option™ Endometrial Ablation for Heavy Periods Fredericksburg
Her Option™ – Cryo Endometrial Ablation (CEA)
The physicians of Elite Women’s Health in Fredericksburg, VA offer a convenient in-office treatement for heavy periods. The procedure is called Her Option Office Cryoablation Therapy: A cryo endometrial ablation (CEA) – a freezing procedure – which is performed in our office under local anesthesia.
CEA is the only FDA approved in office ablation procedure for the treatment of heavy menses.
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Her Option is 94% effective in decreasing the amount of bleeding, the number of bleeding days and the cramps associated with menses. In our experience, 20-25% of our female patients develop amenorrhea (no more periods) without affecting the patient’s hormone levels.
Cryo ablation is very effective and easier on the female patient
In the past, endometrial ablations have been thermal in nature and required either general anesthesia or IV sedation in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center setting. Research has shown that cryo ablation is very effective and easier on the patient in regards to perioperative and post operative pain tolerance.
Patient tolerance of cryoablation in the office is excellent – only 4% of patients were uncomfortable during the procedure without IV sedation. The procedure usually lasts only 20-25 minutes, and the patient can go home and later in the evening be up and about. The next day the patient has no restrictions on activity. Elite Women’s Health is one of the only OB/GYN practices in the Fredericksburg area that performs the cryo endometrial procedure.
For more information visit www.HerOption.com.
Call Elite Women’s Health at (540) 940-2000 and schedule your consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Her Option
- Is Her Option right for me? If you have completed having children and you are unhappy with your periods, then you are a candidate for CEA. Women who have already gone through menopause are not candidates.
- How safe is CEA? CEA is a safe endometrial ablation procedure. A pre-procedure sonogram is performed to measure the size of the uterus. Other tests are performed to make sure there are no other reasons for your heavy periods. During the CEA procedure, the sonogram is utilized to watch the placement of the cryo probe and then watch the growth of the freezing zone to make sure no damage is done to the surrounding organs around the uterus. None of the thermal ablations utilize the sonogram as an extra measure of safety.
- Does the Her Option procedure hurt? Before the procedure, you are given medication to help you relax, as well as to prevent any significant cramping. You will feel movement of the probe during the procedure, but it will not be painful. Because we are freezing rather than burning the endometrial lining; the freezing process freezes the pain receptors in the uterus similar to the way an ice pack makes a sprained wrist go numb, so there is no perception of pain. Because of the medications given, you will need to have someone to drive you to your appointment and home after the procedure.
- How long will the procedure take? The actual procedure lasts approximately 30 minutes. You will be asked to arrive approximately 1 hour before your appointment to be given your medications and allow them time to take effect. After the procedure is over, you may leave. Total time is approximately 1 1/2 hours.
- What happens after the procedure? When you return home you should take it easy for a couple of hours. Later if you feel like going out, go ahead; just no alcoholic beverages or driving until the next day. You may have a vaginal discharge for several weeks requiring a tampon or pad. Spotting is also expected and can sometimes be heavy, especially around the time of your subsequent period.
- How soon can I see results? Sometimes the results can take several months. The first cycle can be heavy with clots, cramps, and even tissue. Even though the procedure freezes the endometrial lining; there is still a scab, similar to freezer burn. The uterus will either reabsorb the scab in which case the rest of your periods should be lighter or non-existent. If your uterus doesn’t reabsorb the scab, then at your first or second cycle the scab will release causing a heavy period. No decision on the success or failure of the procedure should be made until the 3rd month after the procedure. By 6 months you will know if the procedure is a success.
- How soon can I have intercourse after the procedure? While you are having vaginal discharge, you should refrain from intercourse. By having intercourse too soon, you might introduce normal vaginal bacteria into the uterus where it doesn’t belong, and cause an infection requiring hospitalization and I.V. antibiotics.
- How long should the results last? Her Option is intended to be a one-time procedure with the results lasting until you go through menopause. Occasionally some patients will return to having heavier than desired periods. At this time, most insurance carriers are paying for repeat procedures.
- How long will I need to be off work? You will need to take off the day of the procedure and the following day; if you feel up to it, you may return to work.
- Can I schedule the procedure at any time in my cycle? It is best to have the procedure done the week after you finish your cycle. The endometrial lining is at it’s thinnest at that time, and doing the procedure at this time gives you the best chance of success. Waiting until later in the cycle allows the lining to get thicker and decreases the chances of success. You can be given medicine to take after your cycle starts to keep your lining thin and allow you more freedom scheduling your procedure.
- Does my insurance cover the procedure? Most insurance carriers cover Her Option. Our office always calls to check with your insurance company before your procedure is scheduled. You are also given information so you can call and find out what your insurance will require you to pay.