Menopausal symptoms and surgical complications after opportunistic bilateral salpingectomy, a register-based cohort study

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Jan;220(1):85.e1-85.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2018.10.016. Epub 2018 Oct 12.


Background: In recent years, the fallopian tubes have been found to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer. Therefore, bilateral salpingectomy at the time of hysterectomy has been proposed as a preventive procedure, but with scarce scientific evidence to support the efficiency and safety.

Objective: Our primary objective was to evaluate the risk of surgical complications and menopausal symptoms when performing bilateral salpingectomy in addition to benign hysterectomy. Furthermore, we sought to compare time in surgery, perioperative blood loss/blood transfusion, duration of hospital stay, days to normal activities of daily living, and days out of work for hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy compared with hysterectomy only. A secondary objective was to study the uptake of opportunistic salpingectomy in Sweden.

Study design: This was a retrospective observational cohort study based on data from the National Quality Register of Gynecological Surgery in Sweden. Women <55 years of age who had a hysterectomy for benign indications with or without bilateral salpingectomy in 1998 through 2016 were included. Possible confounding was adjusted for in multivariable regression models.

Results: During the study period, 23,369 women had a hysterectomy for benign indications. The frequency of bilateral salpingectomy at the time of hysterectomy increased mainly from 2013, which is why the period 2013 through mid-2016 was selected for further analysis (n = 6892). There was a low frequency of vaginal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy performed in this period, which is why only abdominal and laparoscopic surgeries were selected for comparative analysis (n = 4906). This study indicates an increased risk of menopausal symptoms (adjusted relative risk, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.69) 1 year after hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy compared with hysterectomy only. Hospital stay was 0.1 days longer in women having salpingectomy (P = .01), and bleeding was slightly reduced in the salpingectomy group (-20 mL, P = .04). Other outcome measures were not significantly associated with salpingectomy, albeit a tendency toward higher risk of minor complications was seen (adjusted relative risk, 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 0.93-1.83).

Conclusion: Bilateral salpingectomy at the time of hysterectomy was associated with an increased risk of menopausal symptoms 1 year after surgery. Randomized clinical trials reducing the risk of residual and unmeasured confounding and longer follow-up are needed to correctly inform women on the risks and benefits of opportunistic salpingectomy.

Keywords: complications; hysterectomy; menopausal symptoms; opportunistic salpingectomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Age Distribution
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Fallopian Tubes / pathology
  • Fallopian Tubes / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects
  • Hysterectomy / methods*
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Length of Stay
  • Menopause, Premature*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Salpingectomy / adverse effects
  • Salpingectomy / methods*
  • Survival Rate
  • Sweden
  • Treatment Outcome