Hysterectomy on benign indications and pelvic floor dysfunction : Clinical and epidemiological aspects

University dissertation from Stockholm : Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital

Abstract: The objectives of this thesis were to investigate the annual rates for hysterectomy on benign indications, to evaluate the effects of hysterectomy on bowel function, to identify risk factors for vaginal vault prolapse, to examine the association between hysterectomy and pelvic organ fistula disease, and to determine risks of subsequent pelvic floor surgery after vaginal hysterectomy. We performed a nationwide register based cohort study to investigate the annual rates, types and indications for hysterectomy. All women who went through hysterectomy for benign disease in Sweden from 1987 through 2003 (n=121,947) were included. We found that the overall rate of hysterectomy on benign indications has remained reasonably stable. Major trends involved a notable decrease in rates of abdominal hysterectomy, an increased use of vaginal hysterectomy, and an increased number of hysterectomies performed for pelvic organ prolapse. In a prospective long-term follow-up study we evaluated the effects of hysterectomy on bowel function. One-hundred and twenty patients undergoing hysterectomy for benign conditions answered a questionnaire on bowel habits before, one and three years after surgery. Neither abdominal, nor vaginal hysterectomy was associated with symptoms of constipation, but having the operation was associated with a mild deterioration in anal continence status. Among women having had a hysterectomy, we performed a nested case-control study to identify risk factors for vaginal vault prolapse surgery after hysterectomy. Case subjects were 117 women with vaginal vault prolapse after hysterectomy and control subjects were 326 women having had hysterectomy but no surgery for vaginal vault prolapse. Data on determinants was extracted from the Swedish Inpatient Register and self-reported questionnaires. We concluded that previous surgically managed pelvic floor disorder was the main risk factor for the development of vaginal vault prolapse subsequent to a hysterectomy. In a nationwide cohort study based on Swedish health care registers, we studied the risk for pelvic organ fistula surgery associated to hysterectomy on benign indications. The cohort consisted of 182,641 women having hysterectomy and 525,826 women not undergoing the procedure. We found that pelvic organ fistula surgery is four times more common in women after hysterectomy. The highest fistula rates were observed the first year after surgery, after laparoscopic and total abdominal hysterectomy, and among older women having had hysterectomy. To determine the risks for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence surgery after vaginal hysterectomy, we used the same population sample as above but the exclusion criteria s were modified and the exposure was defined differently. We concluded that vaginal hysterectomy is by itself associated with higher risks than total abdominal hysterectomy for subsequent pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence surgery. If the vaginal hysterectomy was performed due to pelvic organ prolapse, these risks were further increased.

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