A number of competing procedures are available.
Transcervical resection of the endometrium (TCRE) uses a hysteroscope equipped with a cauterization loop that avails for resection of the endometrium. It is a proven procedure, being a day-care procedure with rapid recovery.
The Hydrothermal Ablation System uses a small telescope-like device called a hysteroscope which is inserted into the uterus through the cervix, to help doctors safely confirm proper probe placement and to see the area they are treating. In this procedure, the doctor looks at the inside of the uterus with the hysteroscope and fills the uterus with saline fluid. The fluid is then slowly heated and the lining of the uterus is burned so that menstrual bleeding periods become less heavy and, in some cases, even stop. The fluid is then cooled and removed by special tubing to protect the external areas of the body from any burns. 94% of patients who have undergone this procedure reported a satisfactory decrease in menstrual flow.
With the Novasure system a mesh is introduced into the cavity and the lining is destroyed by applying electrical energy to the mesh that will thermally damage the adjacent endometrium. 87% of patients have a successful reduction in bleeding down to normal levels.
The Thermachoice III balloon is a technique in which heated fluid fills a ballon which was inserted into the uterine lining. The fluid is safely contained in a flexible and non-allergenic material that conforms to most uterine shapes and sizes with no reduction of efficacy.
Older methods utilize hysteroscopy to insert instruments into the uterus to destroy the lining under vision using laser or electrical current in a small loop. Another system introduces a radio-frequency rod that emits energy to destroy the uterine lining.
The procedure is done while the patient is either under local anesthesia, or, if necessary, general or spinalanesthesia. The recovery period can be from one day up to 2 weeks.
After the procedure, the endometrium heals by scarring, reducing or removing the possibility of future uterine bleeding. The patient may develop amenorrhea, however hormonal functioning will remain unaffected.
Approximately 80% of those who undergo this procedure will have reduced menstrual bleeding. Of those, approximately 45% will stop having periods altogether. However, a second procedure or a hysterectomy will be required in approximately 22% of cases.
^Cooper, K. G.; Bain, C.; Parkin, D. E. (1999). "Comparison of microwave endometrial ablation and transcervical resection of the endometrium for treatment of heavy menstrual loss: A randomised trial". The Lancet354 (9193): 1859–1863. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(99)04101-X. PMID10584722.edit