The basis of this thesis is a prospective randomised trial comparing hysterectomy
(n=99) with two methods of hysteroscopic surgery, endometrial laser ablation
(n=53) and transcervical resection of the endometrium (n=52), in the treatment of
dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Two women in each group refused the allocated
treatment, but analysis was by intention to treat. The main outcome measures were
efficacy in the relief of menstrual and related symptoms, operative complication
rates, postoperative recovery, the effect of treatment on other symptoms, and on
psychosocial morbidity, and patient satisfaction.
In the hysterectomy group, all women (except one treated hysteroscopically) were
amenorrhoeic at 12 months; in the hysteroscopy group, 93 (97%) were either
amenorrhoeic or had light menstrual loss, although 32 women required a second
procedure to achieve this status. The remainder had loss similar to that before
treatment. At 12 months 13 (15%) of the hysterectomy group and 46 (58%) of the
hysteroscopy group had continuing cyclical abdominal pain, although
dysmenorrhoea improved in the majority.
Major operative complications were rare in all groups, but minor morbidity,
principally infection, was significantly more common following hysterectomy
(difference 32%, 95% CI 20-44%, P< .001). There were major differences in
postoperative recovery rates, with median time to self-reported recovery being two
to three months in the hysterectomy group compared with two to four weeks in the
hysteroscopy group (P< .0.001).
Premenstrual symptoms improved in both groups and, although significantly less
common in the hysterectomy group at six months, differences were no longer
present at 12 months. Similarly there were no differences between the groups in the
incidence of urinary or bowel symptoms, dyspareunia or menopausal symptoms.
Anxiety and depression were common preoperatively, but improved significantly
postoperatively, with a significant difference in favour of hysterectomy at six
months, but no difference between the groups at 12 months. Other aspects of
psychosocial functioning were studied and found to be no different between the two
Using self-reporting questionnaires, 89% of the hysterectomy group and 78% of the
hysteroscopy group were very satisfied with treatment (difference 11%, 95 % CI 8-
13%, P< .05) and 95% and 90% respectively felt there had been an acceptable
improvement in symptoms (P< .001). The same operation was recommended by
72% and 71% respectively (not significant).
In conclusion, all but five women were satisfied with their outcome at 12 months,
although, in the hysteroscopy group, 22 (21 %) had required a second operation for
continuing symptoms. Those in the hysteroscopy group enjoyed a greatly reduced
recovery time and significantly less postoperative morbidity. The data suggest that
hysteroscopic surgery is a valuable alternative to hysterectomy for the treatment of
dysfunctional uterine bleeding.