Mini-invasive transvaginal repair of isthmocele: a video case report

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Authors:

Massimo Candiani, M.D., Stefano Maria Ferrari, M.D., Elena Marotta, M.D., Iacopo Tandoi, M.D., Jessica Ottolina, M.D., Stefano Salvatore, M.D.

Abstract:

Objectives

To describe our technique for transvaginal treatment of isthmocele.

Design

Surgical video article. Local Institutional Review Board approval for the video reproduction was obtained.

Setting

A scientific institute.

Patient(s)

A 26-year-old patient complaining of abnormal uterine bleeding and pelvic pain was referred to our gynecological clinic for secondary infertility. At transvaginal ultrasound examination, a cesarean scar defect of 22 × 11 mm was identified, with a residual myometrial thickness over the defect of 2 mm.

Intervention(s)

Isthmocele excision and myometrial repair was performed transvaginal, under regional anesthesia. Before surgery, a hysteroscopy was performed to identify the dehiscence of the cesarean scar on the anterior wall of the uterus and to confirm the presence of the isthmocele and its distance from the external os. Then an incision was made at the anterior cervicovaginal junction and the bladder was dissected away until the anterior peritoneal reflection was identified. Hysteroscopic guidance by transillumination was used to identify the exact position and the limits of the isthmocele. The fibrotic tissue was then removed, and the myometrial defect was closed with interrupted sutures by using 2-0 Vicryl, engulfing the myometrial fibers that would tend to slide laterally. The vaginal mucosa was then sutured with interrupted Vicryl 2-0 sutures. At the end of the procedure, a hysteroscopy was performed to visualize the correction of the defect and to prove the continuity of the cervical canal with the uterine cavity.

Main Outcome Measures(s)

Repair of isthmocele and relief of symptoms.

Result(s)

The postoperative course was uneventful, and the patient was discharged the day after surgery. At 1-month follow-up pelvic ultrasound showed complete anatomic repair of the uterine defect. The patient was asymptomatic with no more postmenstrual bleeding. She is satisfied with the treatment and is still trying for pregnancy.

Conclusion(s)

Symptomatic isthmocele can be treated surgically via a hysteroscopic, laparoscopic, or vaginal approach, depending on the clinical findings and the skill set and comfort level of the surgeon. Unfortunately, there is no consensus about the ideal surgical approach. The hysteroscopic approach has been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding; however, it does not strengthen the uterine wall and it has a risk of bladder injury. The laparoscopic approach provides good anatomic results, but it requires general anesthesia and may be associated with bladder injury. The transvaginal approach appears to be a feasible, effective, and safe modality to repair the uterine defect and to restore the original thickness of the myometrium. It is a minimally invasive, scarless, and low-cost procedure. It ensures quick recovery and a relatively pain-free postoperative course with early return to normal function.


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Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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