Objectives: To compare operative blood loss between two accepted blood loss-reducing techniques used during myomectomy and to evaluate the effect of preoperatively determined uterine volume on blood loss.
Design: Subjects were stratified by ultrasound-determined uterine volume < 600 cm3 (n = 11) and > or = 600 cm3 (n = 10) and then randomized into treatment groups. The same radiologist, surgeons, and anesthetic induction technique were involved in every case. In the pharmacologic technique, diluted vasopressin (20 U in 20 mL normal saline) was injected into the serosa and/or myometrium overlying the fibroid(s) before the uterine incision(s). In the mechanical technique, a penrose drain tourniquet was passed through defects created in the broad ligaments at the level of the internal os and secured posteriorly, occluding the uterine vessels. In addition, vascular clamps were placed on the infundibulopelvic ligaments, occluding anastomotic blood flow through the ovarian vessels.
Results: There was no difference in operative blood loss, operating time, preoperative and intraoperative mean arterial blood pressures, postoperative febrile morbidity, preoperative and postoperative hematocrits, transfusion rates, and length of hospital stay between groups. Blood loss was significantly greater for uteri with ultrasound-determined volumes > or 600 cm3 (627 +/- 175 mL, mean +/- SEM) than for those < 600 cm3 (228 +/- 49 mL). For all subjects, blood lost while operating on the uterus (mean, 379 mL; range, 35 to 1,968 mL) was positively correlated with the total weight of the fibroids resected and with time spent operating on the uterus. Total blood loss (mean, 418 mL; range, 42 to 1,968 mL) was also positively correlated with the time spent operating on the uterus and with total operating time.
Conclusions: There were no demonstrable differences in blood loss, morbidity, or transfusion requirements between subjects undergoing myomectomy using pharmacologic vasoconstriction and mechanical vascular occlusion techniques. Blood loss during myomectomy is primarily incurred while operating on the uterus and is correlated with preoperative uterine size, total weight of fibroids removed, and operating time.