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Miscarriage after myomectomy depends on fibroid number, uterine incisions



It’s the number of uterine incisions and fibroids removed that increase the risk of miscarriage after fibroid treatment, not the type of procedure, according to a review of 252 cases at Northwestern University, Chicago.

Surgeons feel terrible when a woman loses a pregnancy after fibroid treatment, and wonder if they “caused it, or if it was just a bad uterus or a bad initial pathology,” said lead investigator Laura M. Glaser, MD, an ob.gyn. in private practice in Lake Forest, Ill.

Her study, which was presented at a meeting sponsored by AAGL, suggests that miscarriage occurs mostly from complex pathology, as indicated by the number of fibroids and the degree of uterine cutting needed to remove them. The team reviewed outcomes among women who conceived after treatment; 28 had robotic-assisted myomectomies; 208 had open, abdominal myomectomies; and 16 had uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). Miscarriage was defined as pregnancy loss before 24 weeks.

After the researchers adjusted for age, body mass index, and parity, there were no statistically significant differences in miscarriage rates among the three groups (31% after UFE, 29% after robotic myomectomy, and 22% after abdominal myomectomy).

Open cases had the largest dominant fibroid at a mean of 8.5 cm, the most fibroids removed at 4.5, and the highest rate of cavity entry, 42%. Even so, at 22%, open cases were the least likely to miscarry.

Uterine size, specimen weight, time from procedure to pregnancy, and fibroid location didn’t seem to matter otherwise. The only risk factors that reached statistical significance were among women who had myomectomies; an increasing number of uterine cuts (odds ratio, 1.558; P = .004) and fibroids removed (OR, 1.11; P = .033) increased the odds of miscarriage.

More than 40% of women in the UFE group had previous fibroid surgery, versus 5% among women who had myomectomies. UFE women also were far more likely to have had a previous birth (50% versus 17%), but less likely to have subserosal fibroids (13% versus 33%), and their dominant fibroid was a few centimeters smaller.

Subjects were in their mid-30s, on average, with a mean body mass index of about 28 kg/m2. Just over 40% of the women who had myomectomies were white, versus 19% of women who had UFE.

There was no outside funding for the work, and the investigators didn’t have any disclosures.

SOURCE: Glaser LM et al. 2018 AAGL Global Congress, Abstract 160

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