Use of a gelatin-thrombin hemostatic matrix in obstetrics and gynecological surgery

Turk J Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Sep;15(3):193-199. doi: 10.4274/tjod.90217. Epub 2018 Sep 3.


Gelatin-thrombin matrix (GTM) is a hemostatic sealant consisting of bovine-derived gelatin matrix and human-derived thrombin, combining both mechanical and active mechanisms to achieve hemostasis. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999. GTM has been used by several surgical specialties; however, it is a possibly an under-used tool in obstetrics and gynecology. A limited number of studies have been performed on its use during laparoscopic endometrioma excision and myomectomy. It may prove useful in endometrioma excision in reproductive aged women because it is likely to harm ovarian reserve less than electrocautery; however, this conclusion needs to be validated. The only study on GTM use in myomectomy included 50 women randomized into GTM and control groups, and showed decreased blood loss and shorter hospital stays in the GTM group. In gynecologic oncology, it was successfully used to reduce lymphocele cases in a cohort study. GTM has been used successfully in obstetrics in a handful of cases of uncontrolled bleeding from caesarean scar, placental site, ectopic pregnancy, rectovaginal hematoma, and venous plexus over the vaginal vault after emergency postpartum hysterectomy. Risk of viral transmission is a major concern about GTM, yet there are no reports on disease transmission with GTM use to date. Rare but serious adverse effects and complications have been reported such as fatal or near-fatal thromboembolism and small bowel obstruction. Although GTM is mostly a safe product, it is still not free of complications and risks. In conclusion, although routine use of GTM cannot be recommended due to concerns about its safety, cost, and availability, it may prove useful when conventional hemostatic methods such as suturing and electrocauterization fail or are not appropriate.

Keywords: Hemostatic matrix; gelatin-thrombin hemostatic matrix; gynecological surgery; hemostasis; obstetrics.

Publication types

  • Review