Minimally Invasive Procedure Benefits Women Who Experience Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Women who struggle with heavy menstrual bleeding have a medical option to correct their pesky monthly visitor and enjoy a better quality of life.

And Dr. Adam Newman, an obstetrician and gynecologist with Wellmont Medical Associates, wants every woman to know about it.

"It's not hyperbole," Dr. Newman said. "For women who are bleeding that much every month, it really can change their lives."

The NovaSure endometrial ablation procedure used by Dr. Newman and other Wellmont Medical Associates gynecologists in the region offers patients a chance to reduce or eliminate their discomfort through a fairly simply outpatient procedure.

It works, he said, by removing the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus, with a quick delivery of radiofrequency energy.

Because the endometrial lining causes the bleeding, the procedure can reduce or stop bleeding altogether. It is also much less invasive than a hysterectomy, another common treatment of heavy bleeding, and does not carry the potential side effects of hormones.

"The surgery itself takes a few minutes," Dr. Newman said. "It takes longer to talk about it than to conduct the procedure. Plus, patients usually go home with a mild pain reliever and can often go back to work that day if the procedure is in the morning."

Long-term results are also encouraging. He said national statistics show that after five years, 97 percent of women who had the NovaSure procedure avoided more invasive hysterectomies. At least 90 percent reported absent or less burdensome bleeding, and overall patient satisfaction was 93 percent.

Dr. Newman has seen these positive results in his own practice.

"I've been doing this since January 2007 and average about 50 a year," he said. "So far, I have had no reported failures. It’s an innovative procedure that benefits women tremendously."

Dr. Newman attributes his success to amazing advances in surgical automation. While the practice of removing the endometrium to reduce bleeding has been around for many years, each procedure depended on an expert surgeon to deliver precise results time after time, he said.

"The beauty of the way the machine works is the ease of use," Dr. Newman said. "The procedure is so precisely automated, with so many safeguards, that it is practically error free."

NovaSure endometrial ablation also:

  • Has the fastest treatment time (an average of 90 seconds)
  • Requires no hormonal pretreatment
  • Can be performed at any time in a woman's cycle
  • Is tailored to each individual woman
  • Includes a proactive safety check before the procedure

"It's simply safer, easier and results in a shorter recovery period," Dr. Newman said. “When we talk about delivering superior health care with compassion at Wellmont, this is a prime example.”

Endometrial ablation is not appropriate for everyone. Women who still hope to bear children should not choose endometrial ablation, he said. Patients with an enlarged uterus from either fibroids or adenomyosis are not ideal candidates, either.

For the majority of healthy women who continue to have heavy periods, however, endometrial ablation might be just what the doctor ordered.

“It is very important for me as a physician to make sure my patients realize they always have options," Dr. Newman said. "Those options don't have to be complicated. In fact, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. It pleases me greatly that we can offer an opportunity to our female patients that enhances their life."

For more information, please visit www.wellmont.org or call Dr. Newman’s office at 276-523-0390 or Wellmont Nurse Connection at 1-877-230-NURSE.