Objective: The purpose of our study was to compare loop diathermy excision and laser excisional conization with respect to treatment time, reliability, effectiveness, and safety.
Study design: Three hundred women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia attending our colposcopy clinic were randomized to treatment with either loop diathermy excision (group 1, n = 150) or carbon dioxide laser excisional conization (group 2, n = 150), both performed with local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Student's t or Mann-Whitney test were used to compare continuous data; the chi 2 test was used for categoric data.
Results: The mean age, parity, histologic features, depth of excision, and occurrence of residual or recurrent disease were similar; however, the mean time required to complete treatment and hemostasis (2.5 +/- 3.6 vs 24.2 +/- 11.8 min), patient discomfort, blood loss (2.77 +/- 3.76 vs 27.15 +/- 17.51 ml; p < 0.001), and considerable thermal artifact affecting histologic interpretation of excision margins (5 cases vs 25 cases; p < 0.01) were significantly less in group 1 than in group 2.
Conclusion: In our experience outpatient loop diathermy excision is an equally effective, quicker, safer, and more reliable excisional technique than laser excisional conization.