Proposal of a simple 2-hand technique at cesarean hysterectomy for placenta accreta spectrum

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2022 Jan;305(1):1-5. doi: 10.1007/s00404-021-06260-y.


Placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) encompasses a range of disorders of placental trophoblastic tissue that is morbidly adherent to the underlying gravid uterus. Women with PAS commonly undergo surgical treatment with hysterectomy at cesarean delivery that is associated with significant surgical morbidity and mortality. Increased vascularity due to gestational change and the abnormally enlarged lower uterine segment due to the location of placenta make the surgery complex and morbid. Here, we propose a simple 2-hand technique that can be used to improve surgical outcomes of cesarean hysterectomy for PAS. Unlike the ordinary hysterectomy where the transection of the cardinal ligament is started at the isthmus below the low uterine segment, the proposed 2-hand technique allows transection of the cardinal ligament at the level of the lower uterine segment below the placental bed. This minimizes blood loss that may be associated with serial transection of cardinal ligament which occurs when it is transected at or above the placenta level. This surgical approach starts with demarcation of 3 anatomical landmarks [rectum (posterior aspect), ureters (lateral aspect), and bladder (anterior aspect)] in postero-anterior progression. Complete de-serosalization of posterior low uterine segment allows lateralization of the ureter and enables the uterus to be mobilized antero-caudally where the surgeon's hand can reach below the placental bed. After the bladder flap creation to the level of endopelvic fascia, the surgeon's two hands are placed antero-posteriorly at low uterine segment below the placental bed. The fingertips of both hands meet at the cardinal ligament below placenta at the level of the upper cervix. At this point the two hands are gently moved upwards, carrying the placenta-containing low uterine segment. This step enables creation of a safe anatomical distance from surrounding structures and isolation of the cardinal ligament where surgical clamp can be applied to transect the cardinal ligament.

Keywords: Cardinal ligament; Cesarean hysterectomy; Placenta accreta spectrum; Surgical technique.

Publication types

  • News
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / methods
  • Placenta / surgery
  • Placenta Accreta* / surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Uterus / surgery