Objective: To compare the outcomes of total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH), a relatively new procedure, with vaginal hysterectomy (VH), a well-established procedure, in a university teaching hospital.
Subjects and Methods: A retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent TLH at the University Hospital of the West Indies between January 2007 and December 2011 was conducted. Chart review was also conducted of a group of patients who underwent VH during this time period. The groups were compared with respect to demographic data and intraoperative and postoperative outcomes. Statistical analysis was undertaken using the SPSS software, version 12.0 (SPSS, Chicago, IL). The Student unpaired t-test was used to analyse continuous variables, and the Chi-square test and Fisher exact test for categorical variables, when appropriate. A p-value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Ten patients underwent TLH, and were compared with 22 women who underwent VH. There was no statistically significant difference between groups in uterine weight, estimated blood loss, postoperative analgesic requirement, or length of hospitalization. Total laparoscopic hysterectomy took significantly longer to perform (209.9 vs 145.6 minutes, p = 0.004). One patient in the TLH group had to be brought back to the operating theatre after three months because of bowel prolapse secondary to vault dehiscence. With the exception of one case of bladder injury in the VH group, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of intraoperative and postoperative complications.
Conclusion: Total laparoscopic hysterectomy, notwithstanding its learning curve, is as safe as VH. However, TLH was associated with a significantly longer operative time.