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Easy-To-Use Online Tool Predicts Complications in Patients Undergoing Hysterectomy

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 04 Oct 2022
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Image: An online tools provides personalized risk estimates for patients undergoing hysterectomy (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Image: An online tools provides personalized risk estimates for patients undergoing hysterectomy (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Hysterectomy is one of the most common surgical procedures, with one-third of women in Canada undergoing this procedure before age 60. Laparoscopic hysterectomies are being performed more frequently as they are less invasive than abdominal surgery. Current practice entails that surgeons discuss benefits of the type of procedure and risks of complications with patients. Researchers have now developed easy-to-use online prediction tools that provide personalized risk estimates for patients undergoing hysterectomy for benign disease.

Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London (London, UK) developed and tested prediction models with the aim of supplementing a surgeon's expert opinion about which patients might be at risk of complications from hysterectomy. Complications of hysterectomies may include ureteric, gastrointestinal and vascular injury as well as wound complications. The authors used data from the English National Health Service (NHS) on 68,599 women who had laparoscopic hysterectomies and 125,971 women who had abdominal hysterectomies between 2011 and 2018.

Using 11 predictors, such as age, body mass index and diabetes, the researchers also included ethnicity as a potential risk factor, categorizing patients' self-described ethnicity linked to a recent census. They found women of Asian background were at higher risk of major complications after abdominal hysterectomy compared with women who were white, although the risk was not associated with laparoscopy. The most significant risk factor for major complications in both procedures were the presence of adhesions, which is consistent with existing evidence.

"Historically, a surgeon's gut feeling has been shown to be a good indicator of postoperative outcomes; however, an expert opinion is the lowest value in evidence-based medicine," said Dr. Krupa Madhvani, Queen Mary University of London. "Although a surgeon's experience and expert opinion carries utility, it cannot be used solely to guide risk management. In Canada and globally, the overall rate of hysterectomy for benign disease is declining, and more patients are undergoing surgery by lower-volume surgeons, who may not have expertise in every procedure."

Related Links:
Queen Mary University of London 

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