Surgical or medical treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome: a cost-benefit analysis

Author(s): Kovacs GT, Clarke S, Burger HG, Healy DL, Vollenhoven B


With the availability of laparoscopic ovarian cautery, there has been a resurgence in interest in the surgical treatment of clomiphene citrate-resistant polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Comparison of ovulation and pregnancy rates has found no difference in success rates between ovarian cautery and gonadotropin ovulation induction for such women. We have therefore compared the cost of laparoscopic ovarian cautery with that of a typical cycle of gonadotropin ovulation induction, and also found that there is little difference. Because of the potential advantages of ovarian cautery, we recommend this surgery as the next line of treatment if clomiphene citrate fails to induce ovulation in PCOS patients, before gonadotropins are introduced.

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