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A Multicenter Randomized Comparison of Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy and Abdominal Hysterectomy in Abdominal Hysterectomy Candidates

Obstetrics & Gynecology: September 1998
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Objective To compare intraoperative and postoperative outcomes between laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy and abdominal hysterectomy among patients who are not eligible for vaginal hysterectomy.

Methods Study subjects were randomly assigned to undergo laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy or standard abdominal hysterectomy. Intraoperative and post-operative management was similar for each group. Surgical characteristics, complications, length of hospital stay, charges, and convalescence were analyzed.

Results Sixty-five women at three institutions underwent laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (n = 34) or abdominal hysterectomy (n = 31). Three patients in the laparoscopic group required conversion to abdominal hysterectomy. Mean operating time was significantly longer for laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (179.8 versus 146.0 minutes). There were no differences in blood loss or incidence of intraoperative complications. There was a higher incidence of wound complications in the abdominal hysterectomy group, but no significant difference in the frequency of postoperative complications. Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy required a significantly shorter mean hospital stay (2.1 days) and convalescence (28.0 days) than abdominal hysterectomy (4.1 days and 38.0 days, respectively). There were no significant differences in mean hospital charges between the study groups (laparoscopic $8161, abdominal $6974).

Conclusion Except for operating time, there are no differences between laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy and abdominal hysterectomy regarding intraoperative characteristics among abdominal hysterectomy candidates. Postoperatively, laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy requires a shorter hospital stay and convalescence. Hospital charges are similar between the procedures. A larger number of cases will help determine the indications for laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy.

Address reprint requests to: Robert L. Summitt, Jr, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Tennessee, Memphis, 853 Jefferson Avenue, Room E-102, Memphis, TN 38103. E-mail:

© 1998 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy, compared with abdominal hysterectomy, is associated with shorter hospital stay and convalescence but equivalent hospital charges.