Surgical Techniques

Myomectomy of a large cervical fibroid in a patient desiring future fertility

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A technique for myomectomy with uterine preservation in a 33-year-old woman with a 20-cm cervical fibroid, as well as a strategy for preoperative planning (meant to reduce this surgery’s high risk for blood loss, urologic injury, and hysterectomy)



Uterine fibroids are the most common tumors of the uterus. Clinically significant fibroids that arise from the cervix are less common.1 Removing large cervical fibroids when a patient desires future fertility is a surgical challenge because of the risks of significant blood loss, bladder and ureteral injury, and unplanned hysterectomy. For women who desire future fertility, myomectomy can improve the chances of pregnancy by restoring normal anatomy.2 In this article, we describe a technique for myomectomy with uterine preservation in a patient with a 20-cm cervical fibroid.

CASE Woman with increasing girth and urinary symptoms is unable to conceive

A 33-year-old white woman with a history of 1 prior vaginal delivery presents with symptoms of increasing abdominal girth, intermittent urinary retention and urgency, and inability to become pregnant. She reports normal monthly menstrual periods. On pelvic examination, the ObGyn notes a large fibroid partially protruding through a dilated cervix. Abdominal examination reveals a fundal height at the level of the umbilicus.

Transvaginal ultrasonography shows a uterus that measures 4.5 x 6.1 x 13.6 cm. Arising from the posterior aspect of the uterine fundus, body, and lower uterine segment is a fibroid that measures 9.7 x 15.5 x 18.9 cm. Magnetic resonance imaging is performed and confirms a fibroid measuring 10 x 16 x 20 cm. The inferior-most aspect of the fibroid appears to be within the endometrial cavity and cervical canal. Most of the fibroid, however, is posterior to the uterus, pressing on and anteriorly displacing the endometrial cavity (FIGURE 1).

What is your surgical approach?

Comprehensive preoperative planning

In this case, the patient should receive extensive preoperative counseling about the significantly increased risk for hysterectomy with an attempted myomectomy. Prior to being scheduled for surgery, she also should have a consultation with a gynecologic oncologist. To optimize visualization during the procedure, we recommend to plan for a midline vertical skin incision. Because of the potential bleeding risks, blood products should be made available in the operating room at the time of surgery.

Techniques for surgery

Intraoperatively, a vertical midline incision exteriorizes the uterus from the peritoneal cavity. Opening of the retroperitoneal spaces allows for identification of the ureters. Perform dissection in the midline away from the ureters. Inject vasopressin (5 U) into the uterine fundus. Incise the uterine serosa over the myoma posteriorly in the midline.

Perform a myomectomy, with gentle “shelling out” of the myoma; in this way the specimen can be removed intact. Reapproximate the fibroid cavity in 3 layers with 0-Vicryl (polyglactin 910) suture in a running fashion (FIGURE 2).

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