Introduction and hypothesis: Hysterectomy for benign indications can be performed either as a supracervical or a total procedure. It is controversial whether removing the cervix is beneficial or not. This study aimed at comparing long-term outcomes after supracervical (n = 107) and total (n = 105) abdominal hysterectomy.
Methods: Two prospective questionnaire-based studies were conducted among the original 212 patients operated on between February 1978 and May 1979 at Turku University Hospital, Finland. In the first study in 1997, a nonvalidated questionnaire was mailed to 193 patients to inquire about any postoperative symptoms. In the second study in 2011, a validated questionnaire and an invitation to a follow-up visit were sent to 153 women. During the visit, pelvic support was assessed using the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification system. Additionally, hospital records were reviewed to identify any gynecological operations at both evaluation times.
Results: In the first evaluation, the response rate was 94 %, and in the second, the rate was 62 %. Objective evaluation was possible in 75 women in 2011, 37 in the supracervical group and 38 in the total hysterectomy group. There were no significant differences in the rates of subjective urinary and sexual symptoms or subsequent operations for urinary incontinence and genital prolapse between women in the supracervical group and women in the total hysterectomy group. Four patients in the supracervical group required a re-operation: three for a prolapsed cervical stump and one for a cervical abscess.
Conclusions: Supracervical and total hysterectomies resulted in similar postoperative outcomes regarding subjective symptoms and subsequent gynecological operations during a follow-up of 33 years.
Clinical trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov ( www.clinicaltrials.gov ): NCT02166749.
Keywords: Hysterectomy; Long-term follow-up; Subjective outcome; Supracervical hysterectomy; Urinary incontinence.