Rollerball Ablation of the Uterus
Rollerball ablation (sometimes spelled as "roller-ball") of the uterus is the method of destroying the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus, by means of heat. It is one of the first ablation methods and relies on using the hysteroscope. Hysteroscope is an operating scope, while hysteroscopy is the surgical procedure of looking into the endometrium. Hysteroscope can also be used for surgeries, in which case it would have an electrical ball or "bar" at its end; heating the ball or bar, the surface of the endometrium is burned away.
The Rollerball Ablation ProcedureThrough a hysteroscopy, the physician views the uterine cavity. Hysteroscope consists of long flexible or rigid tube with optic fiber optic light source inside. Camera lenses in the hysteroscope conway the image of the uterine cavity to a video screen.
Then the uterine cavity is filled with fluid. It serves dual purpose:
. to enhance visualization and to
. prevent accidental burns.
The fluid may contain materials such as glycine, sorbitol, or mannitol, which do not conduct electricity.
Each type of endometrial ablation differs by the way used to destroy the endometrium. Rollerball method is more precisely called electrocautery with roller ball diathermy, and uses a device that looks a lot like a tiny steamroller. The device applies heat, rolls across the uterine lining and thus destroys it.
The success of the operation depends heavily on the operator himself or herself. If well trained, rollerball ablation can be a great success. However, with the advent of second generation ablation devices, rollerball ablation stopped being fashionable. For best results, the operator may not be impatient, but should visit every nook and crany in the uterus. Afitness of sweeping the endometrium is the main reason why this procedure could fail.