Is balloon ablation as effective as endometrial electroresection in the treatment of menorrhagia?

Marlies Y. Bongers, Ben W.J. Mol, F. Paul, H. L.J. Dijkhuizen, Hans A.M. Brölmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hot-fluid balloon therapy is a recently introduced, relatively simple endometrial ablation procedure for menorrhagia. Because it is thought to be safer than other ablation procedures, it would be superior to other types of ablation if it is equally effective. The purpose of the present study was therefore to compare the safety and effectiveness of balloon ablation and transcervical resection of the endometrium (TCRE) for the treatment of menorrhagia. Patients and Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study comparing TCRE and hot-fluid balloon ablation in consecutive patients suffering from menorraghia and not responding to medical treatment. Between 1992 and 1994, all patients had TCRE, whereas from 1995 onward, all patients had balloon therapy. Outcome measures were surgical reintervention, menstrual pattern, and patient satisfaction. Assuming a 9% reintervention rate after TCRE, a series of 150 patients was required to show balloon ablation to be equally effective. Results: Of the 152 patients who were included, 75 underwent TCRE and 77 had balloon ablation. The procedure had to be abandoned in 13 patients in the TCRE group (17%) and in 8 patients in the balloon ablation group (10%). In the TCRE group, four patients underwent a second resection, whereas hysterectomy was performed in 15 patients (3-year cumulative reintervention rate 26%). In the balloon-ablation group, there were no reresections, whereas hysterectomy was performed in 9 patients (3-year cumulative reintervention rate 13%) (log-rank test P = 0.11). The relative risk for any reintervention was 0.36 (95% confidence interval 0.05-2.5). At 3 months' follow-up the duration of menstruation was significantly shorter after TCRE than after balloon ablation, but at 6, 12, and 24 months, the duration of menstruation in the two groups appeared to be equal. No difference in patient satisfaction could be detected between the two groups, but there appeared to be a statistically significant decline in patient satisfaction over time for both therapies. This decline was stronger after TCRE than after balloon ablation. Conclusions: Because endometrial ablation with a hot-fluid balloon seems to be as effective as endometrial resection, with a lower complication rate, balloon ablation might become the procedure of choice for endometrial ablation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

Cite this