Gynecare Thermachoice

Uterine Baloon Therapy System

Gynecare Thermachoice is one of the products we use to treat endometrial ablation (EA). It is implanted via an eight-minute outpatient treatment to provide heavy period relief. No incisions are required. It is hormone-free, and it allows you to retain your uterus. The size of a walnut, it actually conforms to the unique contours of your own body.

How Does It Work?

A flexible, soft, small balloon attached to a catheter is passed through your vagina and cervix and placed gently into the uterus without an incision. Made of silicone material, the balloon eliminated the risk of allergy for those women who are sensitive to latex. The balloon is filled with fluid and inflated to the size and shape of your uterus. Then, the fluid is heated and circulated in the uterus for eight minutes while the lining of the uterus is treated. Then, all the fluid is withdrawn from the balloon, and it is removed. Nothing remains in the uterus, and the treated uterine lining will shed, or slough off, like it does when you have your period. Who Can Be Treated?

The Gynecare Thermachoice is designed to treat women who are pre-menopausal, who have heavy bleeding for benign causes, who have completed childbearing. It should not be used for:

  • Patients who are pregnant or want to become pregnant in the future. Pregnancies after endometrial ablation can be dangerous for both a mother and her fetus.
  • Patients with certain uterine conditions
  • Patients with an interuterine device (IUD) currently in place.
  • Patients with suspected or known uterine cancer

If your bleeding is from a benign cause, Gynecare Thermachoice can be a good option. It may also be a good option if your pap smear and biopsy are normal, if you have not yet gone through menopause and you do not wish to have children in the future. It's not meant for treating uterine cancer, or any pre-cancerous conditions. If oral contraceptives fail to improve your condition and/or you do not want to take hormone therapy, this is an option we may suggest to you.

I - Insertion II - Treatment & Monitoring III - Deflation & Removal

What Are the Benefits of Gynecare Thermachoice?

The vast majority of women who undergo this one-time, non-hormonal treatment experience a reduction of heavy bleeding.

Studies performed by Ethicon, the Johnson & Johnson company who makes the Gynecare Thermachoice product, show that most women have lighter and less painful periods (43%), or no periods at all (37%). Around 81% of women treated had a reduction in menstrual pain and cramping one year after their treatment. Two out of three women experienced mild or no PMS symptoms one year after treatment. And, one year after treatment, 96% of the women studied were satisfied with their results. 99% of them would recommend the treatment to others.

What Are the Risks of Gynecare Thermachoice?

The risks for all endometrial ablation procedures include perforations of the uterus; bleeding; infection; injury to organs within the abdomen (like your bowels) and pelvis, or to adjacent tissue (like your cervix or vagina); complications leading to serious injury or death; and post-ablation tubal sterilization syndrome (a complication following EA in women who have undergone tubal sterilization. This syndrome can occur as late as 10 years after your ablation).

Undergoing an Endometrial Ablation procedure can also make it more difficult for us to diagnose cancer of the endometrium. Heavy bleeding is one of the warning signs of endometrial cancer, and EA procedures decrease or eliminate bleeding, thus masking an important symptom in the process.

Before the Procedure

We can discuss the type of anesthesia that should be used (local, IV, sedation or general anesthesia are the options). We may also give you medicine to reduce cramping during the procedure and after the procedure. We may give you a mild sedative to relax you. We may also do another procedure in which we thin the endometrium before we treat you with the Gynecare Thermachoice device.

During the Procedure

You may feel some cramping that may feel like menstrual cramps. Otherwise, you may feel no pain or discomfort at all.

After the Procedure

You may feel cramping. We may recommend ibuprofen or a prescription pain reliever. Most women can go back to work and other commitments the day after their procedure. Sexual activity should not take place until after your first followup visit (usually a week or two after your procedure). You may have a vaginal discharge that is pink and watery. However, if you have severe pain, a high fever, or abdominal bleeding you must contact me immediately. If you experience new pain with your menstrual cycles after this procedure, we need to know about it immediately.

Contraception After Treatment

Even after endometrial ablation there is a small chance that you could still become pregnant. Therefore, it is imperative that you use a birth control method. Gynecare Thermachoice is approved by the FDA for use with the Essure procedure.