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OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical outcomes of microwave endometrial ablation and thermal balloon ablation for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding. DESIGN: A double blind randomised controlled trial. SETTING: A UK teaching hospital. POPULATION: Three hundred and twenty women requesting endometrial ablation. METHODS: Operative data collection and patient completed postal questionnaires were used to ascertain women's satisfaction with outcome, acceptability of each procedure, changes in menstrual symptoms and health related quality of life and additional treatments received. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes were satisfaction and menstrual scores 1 year. Secondary outcomes were operative differences, acceptability of treatment and changes in health related quality of life. RESULTS: Both technologies achieved high levels of satisfaction (-1%, 95% CI (-11, 9)). Menstrual scores were also similar (4%, 95% CI (-7, 19)) Microwave had a significantly shorter operating time, reduced usage of antiemetics and opiate analgesia, increased discharge by 6 hours and fewer device failures. CONCLUSIONS: Both treatments are acceptable to women, with high levels of satisfaction. Microwave is quicker to perform with faster hospital discharge.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1038 - 1045


Adult, Catheterization, Double-Blind Method, Endometrial Ablation Techniques, Female, Humans, Length of Stay, Menorrhagia, Microwaves, Patient Satisfaction, Quality of Life, Treatment Outcome