Surgical and Reproductive Outcomes after Hysteroscopic Removal of Retained Products of Conception: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2021 Feb;28(2):204-217. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2020.10.028. Epub 2020 Nov 6.


Objective: To evaluate the impact of hysteroscopy for retained products of conception (RPOC) removal on surgical and reproductive outcomes.

Data sources: Electronic databases (MEDLINE, Scopus,, SciELO, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials at the Cochrane Library) were searched from inception to March 2020.

Methods of study selection: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines were followed. Medical Subject Headings terms and text words such as "retained products of conception," "placental remnants," "placenta," and "hysteroscopy" were used for the identification of relevant studies. We included observational and randomized studies that analyzed surgical and/or reproductive outcomes of women who underwent hysteroscopic removal of RPOC. The primary outcome was the complete resection rate after 1 procedure.

Tabulation, integration, and results: Twenty out of 245 studies were applicable, with data provided for 2112 women. The pooled complete resection rate was 91% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-0.96). The incomplete resection rate evaluated was 7% (95% CI, 0.03-0.14), with a complication rate of 2% (95% CI, 0.00-0.04). Out of 1478 procedures, only 12 cases (0.8%) of postsurgical intrauterine adhesions were reported. Regarding post-therapy fecundity, women attempting postoperative conception had a clinical pregnancy rate of 87% (95% CI, 0.75-0.95), with a live birth rate of 71% (95% CI, 0.60-0.81) and a pregnancy loss rate of 9% (95% CI, 0.06-0.12).

Conclusion: Hysteroscopy has a high rate of completely removing RPOC in a single surgical step, with low complication rates. Subsequent fecundity seems reassuring, with appropriate clinical pregnancy and live birth rates. However, standardization of approach and comparative trials of different hysteroscopic approaches are needed.

Keywords: Fertility; Intrauterine adhesions; Surgical complications.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Incomplete / diagnosis*
  • Abortion, Incomplete / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Incomplete / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Birth Rate
  • Female
  • Fertility / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hysteroscopy / methods*
  • Hysteroscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Placenta, Retained / diagnosis*
  • Placenta, Retained / epidemiology
  • Placenta, Retained / surgery*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / surgery
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Treatment Outcome