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Clinical indications for hysterectomy route: Patient characteristics or physician preference?

, : Clinical indications for hysterectomy route: Patient characteristics or physician preference?. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 173(5): 1452-1460

OBJECTIVES: Our purpose was to compare the indications, characteristics, surgical management, and outcomes of patients undergoing total abdominal hysterectomy, total vaginal hysterectomy, and laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy and to assess whether patients who underwent abdominal hysterectomy might have been candidates for laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy and whether patients who underwent total abdominal hysterectomy or laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy might have been candidates for total vaginal hysterectomy. STUDY DESIGN: The hospital charts of 502 women who underwent elective inpatient hysterectomy at a single large general hospital between January 1992 and November 1993 were abstracted retrospectively by use of a structured data abstraction instrument. The study included patients operated on by 16 different experienced gynecologists. Data were collected regarding patient demographic characteristics, clinical history and preoperative physical examination, indications for surgery, route of hysterectomy, intraoperative findings, pathologic study results, and outcomes in the immediate postoperative hospitalization period. RESULTS: Patient age, race, weight, parity, and previous surgical history were significantly associated with hysterectomy type. Although no nulliparous patients and no patients with a uterine size estimated preoperatively to be gt 12 weeks of gestation underwent total vaginal hysterectomy, 16.6% and 30.6% of laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy patients had these characteristics, respectively. A total of 6.6% of total abdominal hysterectomy cases and 16.7% of laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy cases lacked an obvious justification for an abdominal procedure. On average, surgical time was 23 minutes longer for laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy than for total abdominal hysterectomy and 30 minutes longer for total abdominal hysterectomy than for total vaginal hysterectomy. When uterine size or configuration impaired access to uterine vessels, laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy was difficult to perform. Postoperative morbidity was similar across the three procedures, but average length of hospital stay was 2.8 days, 3.5 days, and 4.4 days for laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy, total vaginal hysterectomy, and total abdominal hysterectomy, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Although there are some consistent and statistically significant differences in the characteristics of patients undergoing total abdominal hysterectomy versus laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy versus total vaginal hysterectomy, laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy is enabling many patients to avoid total abdominal hysterectomy, However, many patients undergoing total abdominal hysterectomy and laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy could probably undergo total vaginal hysterectomy instead. Clinical outcomes were similar regardless of type of hysterectomy performed. Practice style and personal preference of the surgeon thus may be playing a significant role in selection of hysterectomy type. Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy becomes technically difficult and conversion to total abdominal hysterectomy is more frequent when uterine size or configuration impairs access to uterine vessels.


PMID: 7503184

DOI: 10.1016/0002-9378(95)90632-0

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