Adhesion formation after laparoscopic surgery in tubal pregnancy: a randomized trial versus laparotomy

Fertil Steril. 1991 May;55(5):911-5. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)54298-8.


Objective: Women with ectopic pregnancy (EP) who have been operated on by laparoscopy are thought to have improved subsequent fertility, probably because of less adhesion formation. We aimed to evaluate the adhesion formation after laparoscopy as compared with laparotomy in a randomized trial.

Design: One hundred five patients with tubal pregnancy were stratified with regard to age and risk factors and randomized to surgery by laparoscopy or laparotomy. To evaluate adhesion formation and tubal status, 73 patients with strong desire of pregnancy underwent a second-look laparoscopy. The adhesion status at the ipsilateral and contralateral side at primary surgery was compared with the status at second-look laparoscopy.

Results: Patients operated on by laparotomy developed significantly more adhesions at the operated side than patients operated on by laparoscopy (P less than 0.001). Substantially more patients in the laparotomy group underwent adhesiolysis at second-look laparoscopy than did patients in the laparoscopy group. Tubal patency did not differ between the groups.

Conclusions: Laparoscopic treatment of EP results in less impairment of the pelvic status compared with conventional conservative surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fallopian Tubes / pathology
  • Fallopian Tubes / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Laparotomy*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Tubal / pathology
  • Pregnancy, Tubal / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy, Tubal / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tissue Adhesions / etiology*
  • Tissue Adhesions / prevention & control