The HTA allows minimally invasive treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding. The treatment relies on the circulation of heated saline in the uterine cavity for ten minutes and it has the unique ability to treat even those women whose uterine cavities have abnormal shapes or large and also some with fibroids.
· The gynecologist inserts a small telescope through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. It allow visualization of the uterine cavity while saline solution at room temperature is pumped and circulated under computer control through the uterine cavity.
· The fluid is then gradually heated to 90 degrees centigrade to induce changes in lining of the uterus; the effect of the heat is demonstrated by the change in color of the lining.
· The water pressure is closely monitored. If there is any drop of pressure the water is immediately sucked out. Because of this water stays in the uterus and does not go into fallopian tubes or abdomen.
· At the end of the treatment phase, cool saline solution replaces the heated fluid and then the instrument is removed. The endometrium will slough off similar to menstrual period over the following weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is HTA System the right procedure for my heavy periods?
Prior to hydrotherapy endometrial ablation your gynecologist will do some tests that may include blood test, a Pap smear, an ultrasound, or look inside the uterus with a tiny telescope (a hysteroscope).
Will I feel pain during the procedure?
You and your gynaecologist will decide what pain relief / anesthesia will be best for you to receive during the procedure.
The choices are:
Pain medication before the procedure to minimize cramping during or after the procedure.
Regional anesthesia (epidural or spinal)
General anaesthetic / fully asleep so you won't feel anything during the procedure.
Sedation so you will be sleepy during the procedure
Local anesthesia injection and you are fully awake and you may feel some discomfort, such as mild cramping, during the procedure.
You could have combination of the above.
Many women experience cramps for up to 1 day after the operation which can be treated with pain medication.
Will I go home the same day of the treatment?
Yes you should be able to return home on the day of your procedure.
What should I expect after treatment with the HTA System?
You should be able to return home on the day of your procedure. You may experience some cramping that should go away by bedtime.
When would I be able to go to work?
Most women should be able to return to normal activities or work the next day.
Should I expect bleeding after HTA?
The endometrium will slough off over few weeks. You will probably have a pink or yellow watery discharge for a few weeks after your treatment. If you experience two days of heavy bleeding, abdominal or pelvic pain, a fever, or pain that increases over time beyond 24 hours after the procedure, call your gynaecologist.
When can I resume sexual activity?
You may resume sexual activity a week after the procedure. You should not use tampons for up to seven days after the procedure to reduce the potential risk of infection. Your periods may be heavy for months after the treatment as a part of the healing process but should improve after a few months.
What are the potential risks of treatment with the HTA System?
Risks are rare
Perforation (creation of a hole) in the wall of the uterus with hot fluid leakage causing bowel or other internal organ burn or leakage of hot fluid into the cervix or vagina with vaginal burn.
Hematometra "collection of blood and/or tissue in the uterus" may occur and may require another outpatient procedure to dilate the cervix alloing for the collection to drain.