What Are the Common Side Effects of Ablation?

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  • Written By: L.L. Probst
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2019
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The common side effects of ablation surgeries typically depend on the type of ablation surgery being performed. Endometrial ablation, cardiac ablation and thermal ablation are some of the most common ablation surgeries and have more specific side effects associated with each procedure. These side effects might include cramping, blood clots and bruising. As with any surgery, pain, redness at the surgical site and infection could all be common side effects of ablation.

Ablation surgeries have increased in frequency because of the less invasive nature of the procedure. Although there can be many common side effects of ablation, the side effects are much fewer than those that are caused by a lengthy surgery. An endometrial ablation is performed in place of a hysterectomy, for example. Recovery from ablation surgery also is drastically less than a more invasive procedure.

Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure in which the endometrial layer of the uterus is removed. Common side effects of ablation of the endometrium are vaginal discharge, menstrual-style cramping and frequent urination. Patients also could experience uterine perforation or bowel problems, which are less-common side effects. Any severe bleeding, lower back pain or abdominal cramping could be a sign of a more serious complication to the surgery and should be addressed by a medical professional.


Cardiac ablations remove abnormal cardiac muscle that might be causing a patient to have heart-related arrhythmias. Patients who are undergoing this type of surgery could experience common side effects of ablation of the cardiac muscle, such as blood clots, bleeding and new arrhythmias. Other and potentially more-severe side effects of cardiac ablation include pulmonary vein stenosis and perforation of cardiac tissues, including veins and the walls of the heart. Shortness of breath, coughing of blood or chest pain might be signs of serious complications and should receive immediate attention from a healthcare professional.

Thermal ablation is a common procedure to remove varicose veins in the legs of patients. Pain, blood clots and bruising are common side effects of ablation used in treating varicose veins. Some patients might feel tired after the procedure. A less-common side effect for some patients is numbness along the shins.

Although extremely rare, stroke and nerve damage have been serious side effects that are associated with ablation surgeries. Studies have indicated that most people could be good candidates for ablation. People who have food allergies, blood clotting disorders or active and recurrent infections can talk with their doctors about the risks and benefits associated with ablation surgeries.


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