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Ultrasound evaluation of uterine healing after laparoscopic intracapsular myomectomy: an observational study


, : Ultrasound evaluation of uterine healing after laparoscopic intracapsular myomectomy: an observational study. Human Reproduction 27(9): 2664-2670

Can uterine scar healing after laparoscopic intracapsular myomectomy (LIM) be adequately monitored by traditional two-dimensional (2D) ultrasound (US) and Doppler velocimetry? The myometrial area of the scar after LIM can be followed by 2D US and Doppler velocimetry. Apart from post-surgical adhesions, the main concern linked to laparoscopic myomectomy is the quality of healing of the myometrial incision: it has been suggested that US could be useful for assessing uterine scars after myomectomy. However, no diagnostic method has yet been widely accepted to assess the healing process. A cohort prospective study (level of evidence II-2), run in University-affiliated hospitals: 149 women with symptomatic uterine fibroids (UFs) underwent LIM, between January 2007 and October 2011. During follow up 13 patients withdrew from the study. After LIM, all patients were followed by traditional 2D US scanning and Doppler velocimetry on Days: 0, 1, 7, 30 and 45. Authors evaluated: number, size and location of UFs, scar diameter and Doppler velocimetry and resistance index (RI) of the uterine arteries, at their ascending branch. The uterine examination showed a significant (P < 0.05) progressive reduction of uterine scar area from 78% of the previous UF location on the first day, to 19% on 30th day, and <4% on the 45th day. There was no correlation with the size of the fibroid or the relative reduction in the size of the scar, on both Days 1 and 45. There was a significant (P < 0.05) increase in the RI of the ipsilateral uterine arteries from 0.65 on the first post-operative day to 0.83 after 7 days followed by a decrease to 0.71 on the 30th and 0.61 on the 45th post-operative day. This is a cohort investigation on a limited number of patients and it does not surgically compare LIM and 'classic' myomectomy in the scar US follow up. LIM avoided intraoperative bleeding and excessive tissue damage, as post-operative US follow up showed, with just two intra-myometrial hematomas (1.5%). The 2D US and Doppler velocimetry, a non-invasive safe method to check the myometrium after LIM, can detect post-operative hematoma and disechogenic, heterogeneous or ill-defined scar area, all unfavorable signs for myometrial scarring. Moreover, Doppler transvaginal monitoring, evaluating the pulsatility index (PI) and RI of the uterine arteries at their ascending branch, could identify patients with altered PI and RI parameters, possible markers of impaired wound healing.

US$19.90

PMID: 22698929

DOI: 10.1093/humrep/des212


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