A cost comparison of hysterectomy and hysteroscopic surgery for the treatment of menorrhagia

Isobel M. Cameron*, Jill Mollison, Sheena B. Pinion, Audrey Atherton-Naji, Ken Buckingham, David Torgerson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To estimate and compare the costs of treating women with menorrhagia by hysterectomy or hysteroscopic surgery, in the form of transcervical resection of the endometrium (TCRE) or endometrial laser ablation (ELA). Study design: Randomised controlled trial set in the gynaecological department of a large British teaching hospital. Under usual circumstances, 204 women who would have undergone hysterectomy for menorrhagia were randomly allocated to either hysterectomy (n = 99) or hysteroscopic surgery in the form of TCRE (n = 52) or ELA (n = 53). National Health Service (NHS) costs and costs to patients per patient occurring up to 1 year following surgery were estimated. Theatre times and length of hospital stay were recorded during the trial. Costs were obtained from the health board finance department and relevant suppliers of technical equipment. One year after treatment patients completed questionnaires on personal costs incurred. Results: The NHS costs of treating women with hysteroscopic surgery were 24% (TCRE) or 20% (ELA) less than treating women by hysterectomy (£1001/£1046 vs. £1315). On average, women undergoing hysteroscopic surgery incurred 71% less costs to themselves than those who underwent hysterectomy (£21 vs. £73.40). Conclusions: Hysteroscopic endometrial ablation incurs less costs than hysterectomy both to the National Health Service and to women alike, up to 1 year after surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Scottish Office Department of Health; ICI (Zeneca) supplied Zoladex, free of charge. The views expressed are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the funding bodies. The authors would like to thank Dr DR Abramovich, Professors DA Alexander and A Grant, Dr HC Kitchener, Dr DE Parkin and Professor IT Russell for their valued contributions; the secretarial staff of the Health Services Research Unit; Yvonne Shearer for her contributions to data collection.


  • costs
  • endometrial ablation
  • menorrhagia


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