Study objective: The aim of this study was to compare operative and early postoperative outcomes of laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) and minilaparotomy in a randomized clinical trial including patients undergoing total hysterectomy for benign gynecologic disease and having 1 or more of the generally considered contraindications to vaginal route.
Design: Prospective, randomized, multicenter trial (Canadian Task Force classification I).
Setting: Departments of Gynecology from 3 major university hospitals in Rome.
Patients: Eighty-one patients who were candidates for abdominal hysterectomy.
Interventions: Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy and minilaparotomy hysterectomy.
Measurements and main results: Forty patients were randomized to LAVH and 41 to minilaparotomy. Characteristics of patients and indications for surgery in the 2 arms were comparable. In the minilaparotomy group, complications were as follows: 1 case (2.4%) of delayed laparotomy with 2 units of red blood cell transfusion, 2 cases (4.8%) of wound infection, and 3 cases (7.3%) of fever of unknown origin. No minor or major complications were observed in the LAVH group. Postoperative visual analog scale pain scores at days 1 and 2 were significantly lower in the LAVH group (p <.05). The complication rate between the 2 groups was significantly lower for LAVH (p = .026).
Conclusion: Because LAVH was associated with significantly lower early postoperative pain scores and complication rates, in general LAVH should be preferred to minilaparotomy hysterectomy when the vaginal approach cannot be used.