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Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1998 Aug;105(8):897-903.

Risk of hysterectomy after 1000 consecutive endometrial laser ablations.

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Womens Endoscopic Laser Foundation, South Cleveland Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK.



To determine the hysterectomy rate after endometrial laser ablation, allowing for variable follow up times, and to evaluate the factors that might predict outcome.


Observational cohort study.


Specialist minimal access gynaecology unit in a district general hospital.


Data were obtained from case notes, theatre records, and follow up postal questionnaires. The risk of hysterectomy following endometrial laser ablation was assessed using survival curve estimates. Proportional hazards regression analysis was used to identify the predictor(s) of this outcome.


A single endometrial laser ablation was carried out on 746 patients (85.4%); 124 patients (14.2%) underwent one repeat procedure and three (0.4%) underwent two repeat ablative procedures. The cumulative rate of return of the postal questionnaires was 87.3% (762/873 patients). Survival curve analysis showed that the overall hysterectomy rate projected over a follow up period of 6.5 years was 21% (95% CI 16%-27%). The age of the patient at endometrial ablation, uterine cavity length, operative time, volume of fluid absorbed, the presence or absence of dysmenorrhoea, premenstrual syndrome and the method of endometrial preparation prior to surgery did not contribute significantly to the regression model. Having a repeat endometrial ablation procedure increased the risk of having a subsequent hysterectomy (RR = 2.93; 95% CI 1.59-5.40; P = 0.0015), whereas the presence of intrauterine pathology (eg, polyps, fibroids and uterine shape abnormalities) decreased the risk of this outcome (RR = 0.26; 95% CI 0.08-0.86; P = 0.0082) after adjustment for confounding due to patient's age and dysmenorrhoea prior to surgery.


Endometrial laser ablation is a safe and effective treatment for menstrual dysfunction. Repeat ablative procedures significantly increased, and the presence of intrauterine pathology decreased, the risk of subsequent hysterectomy.

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