Postablation Endometrial Carcinoma

JSLS. 2017 Apr-Jun;21(2):e2017.00011. doi: 10.4293/JSLS.2017.00011.


Background: Many women have undergone both resectoscopic and nonresectoscopic (or global) endometrial ablation (EA) during the past 20 years. These women are now approaching their sixth and seventh decades of life, a time frame in which endometrial carcinoma (EC) is most frequently diagnosed.

Database: In several reports, surgeons have expressed concern that endometrial ablation may leave a sequestered island of EC that may escape detection, possibly delaying its diagnosis or causing it to appear at an advanced stage. Others suggest that EA artifact does not hinder the evaluation and treatment planning in the presence of EC. Data bases used are from Medline and PubMed.

Discussion: We introduce 6 new cases of postablation endometrial carcinoma (PAEC), 4 of which occurred after the introduction of global endometrial ablation (GEA) techniques. In addition, we examine several key questions regarding the impact of EA on the subsequent development of EC, including the manner in which PAEC presents, the efficacy of traditional diagnostic modalities, the ablation-to-cancer interval, and the stage of PAEC at the time of diagnosis. Finally, we explore the use of reoperative hysteroscopic surgery (RHS) as a diagnostic modality and address the possible role ultrasound surveillance as a screening method for women at risk of EC.

Keywords: Endometrial ablation complications; Global endometrial ablation complications; Late-onset endometrial ablation failure; Reoperative hysteroscopic surgery; Ultrasound-guided reoperative hysteroscopy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endometrial Ablation Techniques / adverse effects*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / surgery
  • Endometrium / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography