Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, San Paolo Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of Milan, Italy.
Objective: To compare laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) and total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) in patients with uterine fibroids.
Design: A prospective randomised study.
Setting: The San Paolo Hospital, Milan.
Population: Sixty-two patients, who were not suitable for a vaginal hysterectomy, requiring treatment for uterine fibroids.
Methods: Randomisation between LAVH and TAH. Comparison of outcomes on the whole series, patients with uteri < or = 500 g (Group 1) and patients with uteri > 500 g (Group 2).
Main Outcome Measures: To establish operating time, blood loss, complications, febrile morbidity, analgesics administration and hospital stay for both treatment approaches.
Results: Median uterine weight was 400 g in both LAVH and TAH group. Median operating time was longer for LAVH (135 min compared with 120 min for TAH; P = 0.001), but patients undergoing LAVH had less analgesics administration (23% compared with 77%, P < 0.001) and a shorter median hospital stay (3.8 compared with 5.8 days; P < 0.001). LAVH, when compared with TAH in the two weight subgroups, required a significantly longer operating time only in Group 2, significantly reduced analgesics administration only in Group 1, and significantly reduced hospital stay in both groups. Conversions of LAVH to laparotomy were significantly more frequent in Group 2 (3/11) than in Group 1 (0/20) (P = 0.04).
Conclusions: Compared with TAH, LAVH has advantages in removing uteri weighing < or = 500 g, with comparable operating time, less post-operative pain and shorter recovery. Among uteri weighing > 500 g LAVH showed a shorter recovery, but longer operating time than TAH and a 27% rate of conversion to laparotomy.