Incidence of complications during gynecologic laparoscopic surgery in patients after previous laparotomy

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2010 Jul-Aug;17(4):480-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2010.03.004. Epub 2010 May 14.


Study objective: To estimate the incidence of complications arising during gynecologic laparoscopic surgery in patients who have undergone previous abdominal surgeries and to assess predictable factors associated with complications based on the characteristics of the previous laparotomy.

Design: Retrospective study (Canadian Task Force classification II-2).

Setting: University-affiliated hospital.

Patients: We enrolled 307 patients with a history of laparotomy who underwent laparoscopic surgery at our hospital between January 2002 and June 2009.

Interventions: The closed primary approach via either the ninth intercostal space or the posterior vaginal fornix was used to avert bowel injury. Complications were defined as organ injury that required repair during surgery and immediate conversion to laparotomy because of technical difficulties. Factors influencing complications during laparoscopic surgery were analyzed using logistic regression.

Measurements and main results: No complications developed during primary entry. Adhesiolysis was required in 195 areas of adhesion in 146 patients before laparoscopic surgery could proceed. These areas comprised 45 (14.7%) and 31 (10.1%) abdominal wall adhesions without and within the umbilicus, respectively, and 119 (38.8%) with intrapelvic adhesions. Complications in 41 patients (13.4%) included bowel damage (n=35), urinary system damage (n=4), and conversion to laparotomy because of technical difficulties (n=2). Overall, 38 complications were laparoscopically repaired, and 1 complication was repaired at minilaparotomy. Intrapelvic adhesions were found in all patients with complications, and bowel adherent to the intrapelvis was identified in 38 of these (92.7%). The most significant predictive factors positively associated with development of complications according to logistic regression analysis were a history of abdominal myomectomy (odds ratio, 6.27; 95% confidence interval, 2.95-13.38; p<.001) and excisional endometriosis surgery (odds ratio, 5.80; 95% confidence interval, 2.08-16.13; p=.001). No patients developed severe delayed complications after surgery.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that potential predictive factors of complications are a history of abdominal myomectomy and excisional endometriosis surgery performed because of intrapelvic adhesions.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Laparotomy*
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvis / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tissue Adhesions / complications
  • Tissue Adhesions / surgery