Long-term clinical outcomes of repeat hysteroscopic endometrial ablation after failed hysteroscopic endometrial ablation
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The study aims to describe patient characteristics, uterine cavity shape and histopathology, complications, and long-term clinical outcomes of women who failed hysteroscopic rollerball or loop endometrial ablation (HEA) and subsequently consented to repeat hysteroscopic endometrial ablation (RHEA), and is a retrospective cohort study (Canadian Task Force classification II-2). The study was conducted in the university-affiliated teaching hospital. Patients included women who failed primary hysteroscopic endometrial ablation (PHEA, n = 183) and subsequently underwent RHEA by the senior author (GAV) from 1993 through 2007 with a minimum follow-up of 5 years. RHEA was performed under general anesthesia using 26 F (~9 mm) resectoscope, monopolar loop electrode in 136 (74.3 %), 3–5 mm rollerball in 41 (22.4 %) or combination in 6 (3.3 %) women. Patient characteristics, uterine cavity, and clinical outcomes of women who failed PHEA and subsequently consented to RHEA were evaluated by retrospective chart review and patient follow-up including office visits and/or telephone interview. The corresponding median age (range) for PHEA and RHEA was 40 (26–70) and 43 (29–76) years. Indications for PHEA included abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB, 52.7 %), AUB and dysmenorrhea (25.8 %), dysmenorrhea (18.8 %), and others (2.7 %). Indications for RHEA included persistent AUB (53 %), AUB and uterine/pelvic pain (26.2 %), uterine/pelvic pain only (19.1 %), postmenopausal bleeding (1.1 %), and thickened endometrium (0.5 %). Complications of RHEA (n = 7, 3.8 %) included false passage (3), uterine perforation (2), and bleeding (2). One patient with excessive bleeding required immediate hysterectomy. At a median follow-up of 9 years (5–19), 69 % of women avoided hysterectomy. Repeat hysteroscopic endometrial ablation is a feasible, safe, and long-term effective alternative to hysterectomy for abnormal uterine bleeding from benign causes when performed by experienced surgeons.