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Operative hysteroscopy requires the use of a distension medium and its absorption can lead to serious consequences from intravascular volume overload and water intoxication. We compared the impact of 2 types of anesthesia (general anesthesia and local anesthesia with sedation) on the absorption of glycine solution in operative hysteroscopy.A randomized controlled trial was conducted over a 17-month period. Eligible patients undergoing operative hysteroscopy for abnormal uterine bleeding were randomized in 2 groups: a general anesthesia group and a local anesthesia with sedation group. The primary outcome was the median absorption of the glycine solution (10th–90th percentile) measured with an automated tandem canister system. Secondary outcomes included incidence of absorption >1000 mL, discontinued surgery because of excessive absorption, median change in serum sodium, postoperative hyponatremia, and patients' postoperative quality of life at 24 hours (8-item Short Form Health Survey questionnaire). Nonparametric analyses (Mann-Whitney U test, χ2 test, and Fisher exact test) were used.Of 142 eligible patients, 95 agreed to participate and were randomized. Women who underwent general anesthesia had a higher median absorption of the glycine solution (10th–90th percentile) compared with women who underwent local anesthesia with sedation (480 mL [76–1300 mL] vs 253 mL [70–728 mL]; P = 0.005). General anesthesia was also associated with a higher rate of glycine solution absorption (>1000 mL [20% vs 4%; P = 0.009]) and a more rapid rate of decrease in serum sodium (≥10 mEq/L [8% vs 0%; P = 0.005]) than local anesthesia with sedation. Postoperative quality of life measures as rated by the patients were comparable between the 2 groups.Compared with general anesthesia, local anesthesia with sedation is associated with less glycine absorption and should be considered the preferred method of anesthesia for operative hysteroscopy.