Microwave endometrial ablation involves inserting a microwave probe into the uterine cavity to heat the endometrium. With the temperature maintained at 75–80ºC, the probe is moved from side to side to destroy the endometrium.
Current evidence on the safety and efficacy of microwave endometrial ablation appears adequate to support the use of this procedure provided that normal arrangements are in place for consent, audit and clinical governance.
Reviews of endometrial destruction techniques concluded that women undergoing thermal ablation techniques had a similar reduction in bleeding and were as satisfied as women having hysteroscopic resection of the endometrium. The advantages of thermal ablation techniques were that general anaesthesia was not required, and the procedures were quicker and easier to perform.
Other studies found that between 70 and 80% of women having microwave endometrial ablation were satisfied, and that 95% of women had returned to normal activities within 3 weeks of having the procedure.
The evidence highlighted a number of complications that occurred, including perforation of the uterus, minor secondary haemorrhage, and burning of the vagina, cervix and small bowel.
However, the incidence of these complications was low.