ArticlesComparison of microwave endometrial ablation and transcervical resection of the endometrium for treatment of heavy menstrual loss: a randomised trial
Review articleOpen access

SummaryBackgroundVarious new endometrial ablation techniques have emerged for the treatment of menorrhagia. We undertook a randomised controlled trial comparing one new technique, microwave endometrial ablation (MEA), with a proven procedure, transcervical resection of the endometrium (TCRE), for women with heavy menstrual loss.Methods263 eligible and consenting women, referred for endometrial ablative surgery, were randomly assigned MEA (Microsulis plc, Waterlooville, Hampshire, UK; n=129) or TCRE (n=134). 230 participants were needed to give 80% power of demonstrating a 15% difference in satisfaction with treatment. All procedures were done under general anaesthesia 5 weeks after endometrial thinning with goserelin 3.6 mg. Questionnaires were completed at recruitment and at 12 months' follow-up. The primary outcome measures were patients' satisfaction with and the acceptability of treatment. Analysis was by intention to treat among women followed up to 12 months (n=116 MEA, n=124 TCRE).FindingsAt 12 months, 89 (77%) women in the MEA group and 93 (75%) in the TCRE group were totally or generally satisfied with their treatment (95% CI for difference -12 to 17) and 109 (94%) versus 112 (90%) found it acceptable (-11 to 35). Mean operating times were shorter for MEA than for TCRE (11.4 vs 15.0 min, p=0·001) and the postoperative stay slightly but not significantly shorter. One blunt perforation occurred in each study group resulting in one immediate hysterectomy (TCRE group). Of eight health-related quality of life dimensions, all were improved after MEA (six significantly) and seven were improved after TCRE (all significantly).InterpretationBoth techniques achieved high rates of satisfaction and acceptability and both improved quality of life after 1 year. However, we cannot exclude a difference in satisfaction between the groups of less than 15%. MEA seems a suitable alternative to TCRE.

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