What is HydrothermAblation?
The Hydro ThermAblator System (HTA System) is a device that allows your gynecologist to perform endometrial ablation on an outpatient basis. Endometrial ablation is a procedure to treat abnormal uterine bleeding. The procedure is intended to destroy all or most of the tissue that is responsible for menstrual bleeding (the endometrium). After the procedure, patients may never bleed again, or if they do, their bleeding is generally reduced. Not all patients experience a satisfactory reduction in bleeding, so all treatment options should be discussed with your doctor.
Intended Benefits of the HydrothermAblaton®:
- A potential alternative to hysterectomy or other major surgical procedures
- An outpatient and in-office procedure
- Generally decreased recovery period and less need for general anesthesia
- Generally fewer significant harmful side effects
What is the HTA® System and how does the Procedure Work?
The Genesys HTA System treatment uses a sheath that is employed by your physician to perform an endometrial ablation. The system allows saline heated to 90°C (194°F) to be circulated in the uterus.
After a slight dilation of the cervix, a slim procedure sheath will be placed in your cervix. Your uterus will be filled with room temperature saline. The saline will conform to your uterus and circulate throughout the procedure. Your physician will then look inside your uterus with a hysteroscope, or a small camera, that fits inside of the procedure sheath.
The saline circulating in your uterus will then be heated to 90°C (194°F) by the Genesys HTA System Console. As the heated saline comes in contact with the uterine walls, the saline will begin to heat the endometrium. This heat is intended to destroy the endometrium. This treatment cycle takes about 10 minutes.
After the treatment cycle has been completed the uterus will be flushed with cool saline. The cool saline is drained and the procedure sheath is removed.
What will I experience during the procedure?
Your physician will give you pain medication before the procedure to help reduce cramping during or after the procedure. You may feel some discomfort, such as mild cramping during the procedure but it should not be painful.
What should I expect after my treatment?
You can expect some light cramping the day of your treatment. Some other common side effects you may experience include nausea and vomiting. Most women are able to return to normal activities by the next day. However, you should speak with your physician about resuming sexual activity.
As your endometrium begins to slough off after the treatment, you may experience some discharge or other symptoms similar to your menstrual period. These symptoms may occur for several weeks after your treatment. You should not use tampons for seven days after your procedure to reduce your risk of infection. Your periods may continue to be heavy for a few months after the procedure as part of the healing process. However, this should improve after a few months.
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 physician.
What can I expect from my Genesys HTA® System Treatment?
The majority of women see a dramatic decrease in the length and heaviness of their period. In clinical trials, after three years the majority of women reported a reduction of bleeding to normal levels or less. In patients that completed the study 98% of women were satisfied with their periods.
Can I get pregnant after the HTA System Procedure?
You should not have this procedure if you desire to get pregnant in the future. Although endometrial ablation significantly reduces the chances for pregnancy, it does not prevent you from getting pregnant. A pregnancy after endometrial ablation would be high risk for both mother and child. Contraception or sterilization should be used after this treatment to prevent pregnancy as it can still occur. Please discuss your birth control options with your physician.
What are the risks of the HTA System Procedure?
Your physician will explain all the potential risks of your menorrhagia treatment to you.
Possible risks for all endometrial ablation procedures are: perforation (creation of a hole) of the uterus; bleeding; infection; injury to organs within the abdomen (e.g., bowel) and pelvis or to adjacent tissue (e.g., cervix and vagina); post-ablation tubal sterilization syndrome (a complication in women who have undergone tubal sterilization following endometrial ablation which can occur as long as 10 years after your ablation); and delayed diagnosis of cancer of the endometrium.
The risk of serious injury such as perforation (creation of a hole) of the uterus and injury to internal organs with the Genesys HTA System is low. However, there is a risk that heated fluid may leak out of your uterus during the procedure and result in a burn to your vagina or surrounding areas. These burns are usually treatable by your doctor with medicated cream. In very rare cases it may be necessary to seek specialized care from a burn center.