The combined use of endometrial ablation or resection and levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system in women with heavy menstrual bleeding: A systematic review

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Máxima Medical Center, Veldhoven, The Netherlands. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Grow-School of Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Zorgboog Helmond, The Netherlands.

Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica. 2021

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INTRODUCTION Despite the fact that endometrial ablation/resection is a very successful treatment for women with heavy menstrual bleeding, re-intervention with additional surgery is needed in 12-25% of the cases. Introducing a levonorgestrel-intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) immediately after ablation could preserve the integrity of the uterine cavity and suppress the regenerated or non-ablated endometrial tissue. Therefore, this combined treatment can perhaps lower the re-intervention rate. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the impact of the combined treatment. MATERIAL AND METHODS The MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane library were systematically searched. No language restrictions were applied. All types of studies were included reporting on the results of endometrial ablation or resection combined with immediate insertion of LNG-IUS for treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding. The primary outcome was the number of hysterectomies after the ablation procedure. Secondary outcomes included re-intervention rates, removals of LNG-IUS, bleeding pattern, patient satisfaction, side-effects and complications. Our protocol was registered in PROSPERO, an international prospective register of systematic reviews under registration number CRD42020151384. RESULTS Six studies with a retrospective design and one case series with a follow up duration varying from 6 to 55 months were included. In total, 427 women were treated with the combined treatment. The studies described a lower hysterectomy and re-intervention rate after combined treatment compared to treatment with endometrial ablation/resection alone. Hysterectomy rate varied from 0-11% after combined treatment versus 9.4-24% after endometrial ablation/resection alone. Bleeding patterns and patient satisfaction appeared to be in favour of the combined treatment group. No intra or post operation complications or complications in the removal of LNG-IUS were described. Most described side effects after combined treatment were weight gain, mood changes and head-aches. An additional eleven studies with only an abstract available substantiated these findings. All the included studies had poor methodologic quality. CONCLUSIONS Based on the available literature inserting an LNG-IUS immediately after endometrial ablation/resection seems to lower the hysterectomy and re-intervention rates compared to ablation/resection alone. However, since only limited observational studies of low methodological quality are available, high quality research is necessary to confirm the findings of this systematic review.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine