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Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding - Surgery

Surgery is generally reserved for treating dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) that can't be controlled with medicine.

Surgery choices

The following procedures are used to treat dysfunctional uterine bleeding.

  • Hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat dysfunctional uterine bleeding at the same time. A lighted viewing instrument called a hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. When areas of bleeding are located, biopsies can be taken and then the areas of bleeding can be treated with either a laser beam or electric current (electrocautery).
  • Hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus. It may be done when a sample of the uterine lining (endometrial biopsy) shows abnormal cell changes or cancer, when uterine bleeding is uncontrollable, or when the cause of chronic bleeding cannot be found and treated. A hysterectomy is a major surgery with risks of complications. Recovery from surgery can take 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the type of hysterectomy done. If the ovaries are also removed, you may need to take long-term estrogen therapy after surgery.
  • Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive alternative to hysterectomy when other medical treatments fail or when you or your doctor have reasons for not using other treatments. Endometrial ablation scars the uterine lining, so it is not a treatment option if you are planning to become pregnant.

What to think about

Hysteroscopy may be done to rule out serious uterine conditions:

  • Before long-term treatment with medicines or surgical treatment for dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
  • When uterine bleeding has continued despite nonsurgical treatment.

Hysterectomy may be used as surgical treatment for dysfunctional uterine bleeding when:

  • Dysfunctional uterine bleeding does not respond to medicine or other treatment.
  • Childbearing is completed and you do not wish to try treatment with medicine.
  • Symptoms of dysfunctional uterine bleeding outweigh the risks and discomforts of surgery.

Regrowth of the endometrium may occur after you have endometrial ablation.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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