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Developments in Techniques for Laparoscopic Myomectomy

JSLS Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
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  • Scientific Papers


Objectives: Conflicting opinions about laparoscopic myomectomy (LM) are still present regarding indications and risks related to reproductive outcome. We reviewed our 13-year experience (1) to identify risk factors or changes in methods that have improved our myomectomy technique and (2) to evaluate how the learning curve and improved surgical devices influenced our procedures, and (3) to study the myomectomy scar with a power color Doppler ultrasound (US). Methods: From January 1991 to December 2003, we studied 332 patients who underwent laparoscopic myomectomy. We analyzed, as the learning curve, how the introduction of the Steiner morcellator, the use of vasoconstrictive agents, and different techniques of suturing have influenced parameters such as operating time and blood loss. Results: We performed 332 single or multiple myomectomies for symptomatic myomas. Most patients (47%) had more than one myoma, with a maximum of 8 per patient (average myomas removed for patients: 2.23, range 1 to 8). Myoma size ranged from 1cm to 20 cm (mean, 60.20±SD27.1 mm). Myomas <4cm were removed during myomectomy for larger ones. The conversion rate to laparotomy was 1.51%. The average drop in hemoglobin concentration was 1.06±SD0.86 g/100 mL (range, 0.7 to 2.2 g/100 mL). No blood transfusions were required. No major intraoperative complications occurred. The duration of the procedure ranged from 30 minutes to 360 minutes (mean, 124±SD52.6). The dimensions of the myomas removed increased with experience (4.91±SD2.2 cm of the earlier cases to 6.76±SD2.7 of the latest group, P<0.000). The learning curve positively influenced the length of the procedures in the first cases. The introduction of electromechanical morcellation in 1996 reduced the procedure time. Data showed significantly reduced Hb drop after the introduction in 1998 of vasoconstrictive agents (ΔHb 1.62 g/100 mL versus 0.95; P<0.001). The running suture offered few advantages in terms of procedure time. However, the drop in hemoglobin was advantageous (ΔHb 1.1 g/100mL vs 0.61, P<0.01). The overall rate of intrauterine pregnancy following LM was 65.5%. No uterine ruptures occurred. We had 2 serious postoperative complications: Conclusions: With increased experience, the technical improvements and clinical results have changed our approach and decision making regarding laparoscopic myomectomy. Our results and extremely low conversion rate suggest that laparoscopic myomectomy is a safe and reliable procedure even in the presence of multiple or enlarged myomas.

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