Surgical methods in the treatment of congenital anomalies of the uterine cervix

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Aug;23(4):251-7. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e3283478839.


Purpose of review: Cervical agenesis is an extremely rare congenital anomaly of the female reproductive tract. There are many anatomical forms that constitute this type of cervical abnormality and the literature is replete with attempts to surgically restore a patent outflow tract and preserve fertility in these patients. There are no carefully designed cohort or randomized trials to support a best surgical practice; past reports are descriptive only.

Recent findings: Of late, there has been renewed interest in the surgical treatment of cervical dysgenesis with techniques both through laparotomy with hysterotomy and more recently, minimally invasive approaches, which have attempted to restore a patent outflow tract without perineal dissection or graft harvesting in an attempt to avoid uterovaginal scarring if further surgery is necessary. To maintain consistency in the field of surgical reconstruction of the female reproductive tract, there has been a call for streamlined classifications of the anatomical abnormalities observed to better compare patient findings and the outcome of their surgical reconstruction in the literature.

Summary: The authors discuss the embryological development of this rare reproductive tract abnormality and have proposed a systematic surgical strategy for each anatomic finding. Ultimately, counseling patients on the best surgical approach requires a discussion on the potential postoperative complications, the degree of cervical abnormality, and the patient's desired treatment outcome. Whether the patient desires definitive treatment with a hysterectomy to avoid the risk of further surgery or, when anatomically appropriate, she wants to pursue a patent outflow tract and the possibility of future childbearing, evidence-based medicine must become the source for surgical strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / surgery
  • Cervix Uteri / abnormalities*
  • Cervix Uteri / embryology
  • Cervix Uteri / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Vagina / abnormalities
  • Vagina / surgery