A Novel Direct Approach to the Deep Uterine Vein in Laparoscopic Radical Hysterectomy

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2021 Aug;28(8):1444-1445. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2020.12.018. Epub 2020 Dec 23.


Study objective: To describe a direct approach to the deep uterine vein in laparoscopic radical hysterectomy.

Design: Demonstration of the laparoscopic technique with narrated video footage.

Setting: Securing sufficient radicality is extremely important when performing a radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer, either by laparotomy or by minimally invasive surgery. The nerve-sparing Okabayashi radical hysterectomy (NS-RH) was originally aimed at achieving both radical resection and function preservation [1-3]. A key procedure when performing NS-RH is intraoperative identification of the relationship between the deep uterine vein and pelvic splanchnic nerve fibers [4]. With this in mind, a safe and easy method for identifying the crossing point of the deep uterine vein and pelvic splanchnic nerve in the initial phase of the surgery may greatly improve the safety and efficacy of functional preservation in NS-RH. Herein, we describe a minimally invasive "direct approach" to the deep uterine vein.

Interventions: Before undergoing the pelvic lymphadenectomy, all steps of laparoscopic radical hysterectomy were performed. First, we identified the ureter on the posterior peritoneum, and the peritoneum was dissected just above the ureter. By continuously exploring the pelvic cavity along the ureter, especially through the opening of the space below the ureter in a cranial to caudal direction, we could easily identify the deep uterine vein. This procedure also exposed the fibers of the hypogastric nerve, clarifying the relationship of these structures.

Conclusion: Because the relationship between the deep uterine vein and nerve fibers is the most important guidepost of this surgery, their identification in the early phase of the surgery enables us to perform the subsequent procedure precisely and securely. This direct approach to the deep uterine vein can be easily and safely performed.

Keywords: Cervical cancer; LRH; Posterior approach.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Pelvis
  • Splanchnic Nerves
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Uterus / surgery