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Federally-Funded Study Shows More Women Can Avoid Hysterectomy for Common Problem
Date:12/27/2007

e David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Munro is also an advisor to the AAGL.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that treatment for menorrhagia begin with the least invasive therapy. But, for some women, endometrial ablation may not solve their problem.

"In this study about two thirds of women were able to avoid hysterectomy by having an endometrial ablation procedure while about a third of the patients who had received endometrial ablation ended up having a hysterectomy several years later. This rate is comparable to that seen in other studies," said Munro.

About 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the U.S., making it the second most common major surgery performed on women of reproductive age. There is controversy about how many of these hysterectomies are really necessary. Clearly, 120,000 hysterectomies performed each year for DUB (without uterine pathology) are amenable to endometrial ablation. Moreover, many patients with uterine fibroids and abnormal bleeding can be treated via endometrial ablation. Fibroids account for 40% of hysterectomies each year.

While some doctors may look for anemia as a diagnostic indicator for DUB, in the StopDUB study women's perception of their problem was the main criterion, supported by clinical measures of excess duration, amount, or unpredictability of flow. "We felt that women should not have to be anemic in order to seek help and have their problem taken seriously," said Munro.

"Based on our results, it is reasonable to recommend that women should select the type of surgery they want for DUB, based on their preferences and situations," concluded Munro.

About AAGL

The AAGL is the first and largest organization in the world dedicated to gynecologic endoscopic surgery. Founded in 1971, AAGL works to advance the safest and most efficacious diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that afford less
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