Complications of Laparoscopic and Transabdominal Cerclage in Patients with Cervical Insufficiency: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2021 Apr;28(4):759-768.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2020.11.014. Epub 2020 Nov 26.


Objective: Cervical insufficiency is a defect of the cervix that leads to failure to preserve a full-term intrauterine pregnancy. Laparoscopic cerclage and open transabdominal cerclage (TAC) are effective ways to manage patients with cervical insufficiency. We performed this systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the complications of laparoscopic cerclage and open TAC in the management of cervical insufficiency.

Data sources: We searched PubMed, Cochrane, Scopus, and Web of Science using our search strategy and screened the results for our criteria. We extracted the results reported and analyzed them using Open Meta-Analyst (OpenMeta[Analyst], Brown School of Public Health, Providence, RI) and Review Manager (Cochrane Collaboration, London, United Kingdom) software.

Methods of study selection: We included all randomized controlled and observational trials performed on patients with cervical insufficiency undergoing open TAC or laparoscopic cerclage that matched our search strategy. We excluded letters to the editor, reviews, meetings/conference abstracts, non-English or nonhuman studies, and instances where the full text was not available.

Tabulation, integration, and results: We included a total of 33 trials. Both interventions of laparoscopic cerclage and open TAC were associated with significantly less total fetal loss (laparoscopic cerclage, relative risk [RR] 0.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01-0.08; p <.001, and open TAC, RR 0.19; 95% CI, 0.07-0.51; p <.009). The overall blood loss in open TAC was 110.589 mL (95% CI, 93.737-127.44; p <.001), and in laparoscopic cerclage, it was 24.549 mL (95% CI, 9.892-39.205; p = .001). In addition, open TAC had a positive effect regarding incidence of hemorrhage >400 mL (RR 0.077; 95% CI, 0.033-0.122; p <.001). Preterm premature rupture of membranes was significant in the open TAC (RR 0.037; 95% CI, 0.019-0.055; p <.001) and laparoscopic cerclage groups (RR 0.031; 95% CI, 0.009-0.053; p = .006).

Conclusion: Laparoscopic cerclage may be safer than open TAC in the management of cervical insufficiency because we found a statistically significant lower incidence of fetal loss, blood loss, and rate of hemorrhage in the laparoscopic cerclage group. Clinically, this evidence may help support favoring a laparoscopic approach over an open one in appropriate patients, although it is unclear whether this benefit is limited to cerclages placed either before pregnancy or placed in the first-trimester or both.

Keywords: Cervical cerclage; Complications of cerclage; Minimally invasive surgery; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerclage, Cervical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Premature Birth*
  • Uterine Cervical Incompetence* / surgery