To illustrate a novel surgical management technique for interstitial ectopic pregnancies (IP).
Video description of the case, demonstration of the surgical technique, reevaluation at the 6-week postoperative follow-up, and review of the advantages of this surgical technique for IP.
Tertiary referral center.
A 42-year-old gravida 2 para 1-0-0-1, underwent a successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle with a single embryo transfer and had an early ultrasound diagnosis of IP with cardiac activity. After failed medical management with a single dose of methotrexate, she was referred to us for surgical management. Transvaginal ultrasound revealed fluid in the cul-de-sac and confirmed a right interstitial ectopic pregnancy with an estimated gestational age of 6 weeks. The myometrium at the periphery of the implantation site was 1–1.5 mm, and the “interstitial line sign” was seen. After counseling for possible treatment modalities, the patient opted for surgical management, planning for further IVF treatment. Her preoperative β-human chorionic gonadotropin level (β-hCG) was 3241 IU/L. Her surgical history was significant for a previous myomectomy via laparotomy and an elective lower transverse C-section.
Hysteroscopy assisted by multipuncture video laparoscopy surgery was performed. Hysteroscopic resection was not feasible as the ectopic was not visualized as described previously. Using normal saline as the distension media and with the hysteroscope aimed at the right ostium, the hydrostatic pressure was increased transiently to dissect the ectopic pregnancy and facilitate the next surgical step. Laparoscopically, the ectopic pregnancy was milked with atraumatic graspers and mobilized from the cornua into the tube creating enough proximal length for salpingectomy. Right salpingectomy was achieved using high-frequency bipolar with no complications.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Hysteroscopy-assisted laparoscopy technique allows for several advantages, including a short operative time and minimal blood loss. No sutures were required and the myometrial architecture was left undisrupted.
The postoperative course was uncomplicated, and the patient was discharged on the same day of surgery. The patient’s β-hCG level dropped from 3,241 to 139 IU/L after 48 hours. Two weeks later, the β-hCG level was 3 IU/L. A follow-up ultrasound was performed six weeks postoperatively confirming the integrity of the myometrium without defects and proportional wall thickness on both sides. The patient was referred back to her infertility specialist to resume IVF treatment with no remarkable delay.
In select cases and the presence of a proficient laparoscopic surgeon, early diagnosed IP can be removed safely using the described novel technique. While an interval conception of 3–6 months is recommended after conventional surgical procedures for IP, this technique can be comparable to salpingectomy.