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'Majority of hospitals' offer specialist surgical treatments

6th July 2011

New evidence has revealed that specialist surgical treatment options for heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) are now widely available.

Figures from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists reveal that abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy for the treatment of HMB is now available in 97.3% of hospitals in England and 95.9% of hospitals in Wales.

HMB is where a woman experiences excessive blood loss during her period to the extent that it interferes with her quality of life.

Guidance from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in 2007 recommends that where there are no obvious problems with the womb, drug treatments should be provided. If these treatments and minor surgery to stop the bleeding do not work, hysterectomy should be considered as a last option.

The first annual report on the National Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Audit shows that almost all hospitals are able to offer abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy for women with HMB.

The report says: “Most hospitals offered one or more second-generation ablation techniques, in line with the good practice point in the NICE guidance.”

Most also have facilities to investigate the problem with 80% having ultrasound and 97.7% offering endometrial biopsy.

In primary care trusts the number of procedures conducted for HMB ranges from 14 to 392 per 100,000 women.

Dr Tahir Mahmood, Chair of the National HMB Audit, said the first year of the national audit had been very revealing and they now want all women with HMB to participate in the audit as it develops over the next three years.

 

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