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[Treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia before and after introduction of laser conization].

BACKGROUND: Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is an established precursor of invasive cervical cancer. Excision procedures such as cold-knife conization, electrodiathermy or laser conization of the cervix are major surgical treatment modalities of CIN.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Women who were treated for CIN 2/3 or suspected invasive cancer with cold-knife conization between 1977 and 1980 (n=212) were compared with women treated with laser conization between 1987 and 1990 (n=439). Outcome parameters were method of anaesthesia, duration of hospital stay, treatment efficacy and postoperative complications such as bleeding, infection or cervical stenosis.

RESULTS: General anaesthesia was used in 88 % of women treated with cold-knife conization, while paracervical block anaesthesia was used in 97 % of women treated with laser conization. Mean hospital stay was 7.6 days after cold-knife conization, while laser conization was performed as an outpatient procedure. The overall complication rate was 36.8 % after cold-knife conization and 8.4 % after laser conization. Significantly higher rates of postoperative bleeding (21.1 % v. 5.0 %), infections (2.6 % v. 0.5 %) and cervical stenosis (11.8 % v. 1.6 %) were found after cold-knife conization compared to laser conization. Treatment efficacy was equally high (98 %) with both methods.

CONCLUSION: Laser conization was found to be a significantly less resource consuming procedure and with fewer postoperative complications compared to cold-knife conization.

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