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      Incidence and patient characteristics of vaginal cuff dehiscence after different modes of hysterectomies.

      Journal of minimally invasive gynecology

      etiology, Adult, epidemiology, diagnosis, Vaginal Diseases, Urban Population, Surgical Wound Dehiscence, Risk Factors, Prolapse, Middle Aged, Incidence, statistics & numerical data, methods, adverse effects, Hysterectomy, Humans, Hospitals, University, Female

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          The purposes of this study were to estimate and compare the incidence of vaginal cuff dehiscence after different modes of hysterectomies (abdominal, vaginal, laparoscopic-assisted vaginal and laparoscopic) and to review the characteristics of hysterectomies complicated by vaginal dehiscences. Observational case series (Canadian Task Force classification II-3). Large, urban, university teaching hospital. All patients undergoing a total hysterectomy or vaginal dehiscence repair at Magee-Womens Hospital (MWH) from January 2000 through March 2006 were analyzed. Vaginal repair of vaginal cuff separation with reduction of eviscerating organ when appropriate. From January 2000 through March 2006, 7286 hysterectomies (7039 total and 247 supracervical) were performed at MWH by abdominal, vaginal, laparoscopic-assisted vaginal, or laparoscopic approach. Ten of these hysterectomies were complicated by vaginal cuff dehiscences and were repaired during this time period. The resulting overall cumulative incidence of vaginal cuff dehiscence after total hysterectomy at MWH was 0.14%. The annual cumulative incidence of vaginal dehiscences after total hysterectomy was 0%, 0%, 0%, 0%, 0.09%, 0.70%, and 0.31% from January 2000 to March 2006, respectively. There was a notable increase in the cumulative incidence of dehiscence in 2005 and thereafter. From January 2005 through March 2006, the cumulative incidence of vaginal dehiscence by mode of hysterectomy was 4.93% among total laparoscopic hysterectomies (TLH), 0.29% among total vaginal hysterectomies (TVH), and 0.12% among total abdominal hysterectomies (TAH). The relative risks of a vaginal cuff dehiscence complication after TLH compared with TVH and TAH were 21.0 and 53.2, respectively. Both were statistically significant, with 95% CIs of 2.6 to 166.9 and 6.7 to 423.4, respectively. Among the 10 dehiscences repaired, 8 (80%) were complications of TLHs, 1 (10%) was associated with TAH, and 1 (10%) followed a TVH. The median age at time of dehiscence was 39 years, and the median time between initial hysterectomy to vaginal dehiscence was 11 weeks. Six of the 10 patients presented with both cuff dehiscence and bowel evisceration. Six patients reported first postoperative intercourse as the trigger event. Half the patients with dehiscence report smoking cigarettes. All patients with dehiscence received preoperative prophylactic antibiotics at the time of hysterectomy. Until October 2006, there have been no reported recurrent dehiscences at MWH. Total laparoscopic hysterectomies may be associated with an increased risk of vaginal cuff dehiscence compared with other modes of total hysterectomy. We postulate that the use of thermal energy in addition to other factors unique to laparoscopic surgery may be responsible; however, prospective randomized trials are needed to support this hypothesis. When performing laparoscopic hysterectomies, a supracervical approach should be considered unless a clear indication for a TLH is present.

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