Indications and surgical route for hysterectomy for benign disorders: a retrospective analysis in a large Australian tertiary hospital network

Chloe Higgins, Rebecca Mcdonald, Ben Willem Mol

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Purpose: Hysterectomy is a common but expensive and morbid procedure. Alternative treatments for heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) are effective in up to 80% of cases, but there is substantial variation in surgical approach and pre-operative management of HMB. This study aims to assess the approach to hysterectomies for benign indications including alternative treatments and route of operation. Methods: We retrospectively collected patient and surgical data on all hysterectomies for benign indications from 1/4/2018 to 31/6/2020 at our tertiary-led hospital network. Results: Hysterectomies were performed in 582 women at a median age of 49(44–56) with a median BMI of 27.9(24.5–33.3)kg/m2 and 251(43%) were referred from private rooms. Hysterectomies for HMB were performed laparoscopically (TLH)(156, 51.7%) more often than abdominally (TAH)(133, 44%) or vaginally (4.3, 13%), with wide variation between sites. Approach was predicted by a history of previous abdomino-pelvic surgery and uterine size but not by other patient factors (BMI, parity or comorbidities). Referral source, on the other hand, was a significant predictor of route of hysterectomy. In women with HMB without uterine abnormalities, 45% tried a levonorgestrel intrauterine device and 25% tried endometrial ablation before proceeding to surgery. The use of alternative therapies pre-operatively did not vary between sites or referral sources. Conclusions: The variations in route of hysterectomy that are unexplained by patient factors suggest room for improvement and raises the question whether some of the patients undergoing a TAH may have been candidates for less invasive surgery. Uptake of alternative management strategies for HMB could also be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2027–2033
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Hysterectomy
  • Minimally invasive
  • Surgical route

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