Drug treatment is a significantly less costly means of treating abnormal uterine bleeding compared with hysterectomy, according to researchers. However, many patients may still eventually have to undergo hysterectomy.
Dr. Jonathan Showstack of the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues calculated the medical resource use of 58 women randomly assigned to hysterectomy or to drug treatment with cyclic medroxyprogesterone acetate for abnormal uterine bleeding.
Over 24 months of follow-up, the researchers found that women in the hysterectomy group used significantly more resources ($6,777) than did those in the drug therapy group ($4,479).
However, at the end of the study, which is published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 16 of the 30 women in the drug treatment group had undergone hysterectomy. The average costs incurred by these patients amounted to $6,128 compared with $2,595 for those who were able to continue on drug therapy.
Although the initial quality-of-life and clinical outcomes were better in the hysterectomy patients, the researchers found that after 2 years, women on successful drug therapy had similar quality-of-life improvements and used fewer resources.
SOURCE: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, February 2006.
Revision date: July 7, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD