A new procedure for women diagnosed with abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding is being studied by researchers at LDS Hospital as an alternative for women who have been treated unsuccessfully with other options and who do not want a hysterectomy.

The minimally invasive procedure involves removing a layer of cells in the uterus, called an endometrial ablation, using a new freezing technique performed under local anesthetic. The hospital is one of eight in the country that is taking part in the clinical trial to study the procedure's effectiveness in women ages 30 to 50.The cryogenic procedure was developed to stop or reduce excessive uterine bleeding without requiring a hysterectomy, according to Dr. Duane E. Townsend, an obstetrician/gynecologist who is the principal investigator of the study.

A layer of the uterus lining is frozen in the procedure.

Half the participants in a randomized study will have the procedure done with the new technique, while the other half will undergo surgical endometrial ablation. Results from the two groups will be evaluated to determine the overall effectiveness of the new procedure.

Women 30 to 50 may be eligible for the study if they have completed childbearing, have been treated unsuccessfully for abnormal menstrual bleeding in the past six months and are considering a surgical treatment. For more information, call Cindy Hames at LDS Hospital, 321-2256.