January 16th, 2002

Great River Medical Center is the first health-care organization in Iowa to offer a new therapy for treating excessive menstrual bleeding. The condition is called menorrhagia, and it affects about one in five American women.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Her Option Uterine Cryoblation Therapy, a technique that uses extreme cold to destroy the lining of the uterus. The brief outpatient procedure reduces bleeding and, in some cases, totally eliminates it. Patients return home shortly after the procedure and may resume normal work or home activities the next day.

Hospital obstetricians/gynecologists Gregg Calderwood, M.D., Kimberly Marshall, M.D., and Michael McCoy, M.D., perform the procedure. They are associated with Great River Women’s Health.

“A high percentage of women with menorrhagia are candidates for this procedure, and it’s effective for 90 percent of those who choose it,” Dr. Calderwood said. “It’s very gratifying when a patient comes up to me and says, ‘Thanks for changing my life.’”

Menorrhagia can lead to serious physical and emotional problems, including anemia, fatigue, limitations in physical activity, family and marital stress, absences from work and reluctance to leave home or be far from a restroom.

Standard treatments like hormone therapy work for some women but are not tolerated well by others, and hysterectomy is a major surgery with a four- to six-week recovery period and long-term implications. About 45 percent of the hysterectomies performed in the United States are for the treatment of menorrhagia.

Her Option Uterine Cryoblation Therapy offers a safe, effective and less invasive alternative to hysterectomy for women who do not plan to have children in the future.

“This is new technology,” Dr. McCoy said. “We have been using various techniques for removing uterine lining for years. This is the safest, quickest and most effective yet.”

For more information about Her Option Uterine Cryoblation Therapy, please call Great River Women’s Health at (319) 752-4541.