Am J Obstet Gynecol 2002 Dec;187(6):1561-5
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Neonatology, University of Parma, Via Gramsci, Italy.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare advantages, disadvantages, and outcomes in patients who undergo vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy for enlarged symptomatic uteri.
Study Design: In a prospective, randomized study, 60 vaginal hysterectomies (study group) were compared with 59 abdominal hysterectomies (control group); all of the hysterectomies were performed for symptomatic uterine fibroids from January 1997 through December 2000. We excluded from the study the other common causes of hysterectomy such as prolapse, bleeding, adenomyosis, and endometrial or cervical carcinoma. In both groups, uterine weights ranged from 200 g to 1300 g. For enlarged uteri, vaginal hysterectomies were performed with the use of volume reduction techniques: Intramyometrial coring, corporal bisection, and morcellation. The evaluated parameters included patient age, weight, parity, uterine weight, operative time, blood loss, demand for analgesics, eventual surgical complications, length of admission, and hospital charges. The Mann-Whitney U test and chi(2) tests were applied for statistical analysis. Probability values of <.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results: There were no major differences in patient age, weight, parity, and uterine weight between the two groups. Operative time was significantly lower for the vaginal route as compared with the abdominal route (86 minutes vs 102 minutes, P <.001). No intraoperative complications were noted both in the study and control groups or the control group. Surgical bleeding (expressed by hemoglobin loss) was not significantly different between the two groups. In the postoperative period, we found a higher incidence of fever (30.5% vs 16.6%, P <.05) and demand for analgesics (86% vs 66%, P <.05) in the abdominal group as compared with the vaginal group. Significant advantages of vaginal hysterectomy were a reduction in the hospital stay (3 days vs 4 days, P <.001) and cost.
Conclusion: These results should lead to the choice of vaginal hysterectomy as a valid alternative to the abdominal hysterectomy, even for enlarged uteri.