Non invasive surgical procedure for heavy periods

London: For years, women suffering from really heavy periods (menorrhagia) have either had to put up with the embarrassment and discomfort of the condition, or undergo either dilation and curettage, or a full hysterectomy. Both are invasive surgical procedures.

But there is an effective option. 350,000 women around the world have had their heavy bleeding treated by GYNECARE THERMACHOICE™, a highly successful minimally invasive procedure normally undertaken as day case surgery.

Known as balloon therapy, the procedure takes eight minutes and it can be done under general or local anaesthetic. Even if done under a general anaesthetic the woman can go home the same day.

This procedure has helped reduce the number of hysterectomies performed in the UK. This means that an increasing number of women are avoiding the risks of major surgery.

The company responsible for GYNECARE THERMACHOICE™, Ethicon Women’s Health and Urology, have set up a dedicated Women’s Health Careline – a telephone helpline staffed by trained health professionals which deals with many aspects of women’s health, including menorrhagia. Women can call in complete confidence on 0845 850 0305, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. In addition, further information on menorrhagia and other gynaecological conditions can be found at


It is estimated that 1 in twenty women between the ages of 30 and 49 visits her GP each year complaining of heavy menstrual bleeding which equates to approximately 1.5 million women.

More than 40,000 hysterectomies were carried out in England in 2003 – 2004. It is believed that heavy periods was the presenting complaint in about half of these cases. Furthermore, about half of all women who have a hysterectomy for heavy periods have a healthy uterus removed.

The aim of the procedure is to remove the lining of the womb, thus reducing heavy periods or stopping bleeding altogether. GYNECARE THERMACHOICE™ involves passing a thin catheter inside the womb through the cervix. There is a balloon on the end of the catheter. Hot fluid is circulated inside the balloon and the heat treats the lining of the womb. The procedure takes eight minutes and it can be done under general or local anaesthetic.

Ethicon Women’s Health and Urology is a division of Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd.