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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2009 June;61(3):201-13

language: English

Uterine surgery in postpartum hemorrhage

Hackethal A., Tcharchian G., Ionesi-Pasacica J., Muenstedt K., Tinneberg H.-R., Oehmke F.

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen Giessen, Germany
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Pius Hospital, Oldenburg, Germany


Uterine atony accounts for the majority of primary postpartum hemorrhage. Timely recognition and intervention are fundamental in preventing serious maternal morbidity and mortality. Combina-tions of conservative manual and medical therapies are adequate and successful treatment options in most cases. However, when the hemorrhagic process continues and when either clotting abnormalities or hemodynamic instability develop, the next step must be an invasive intervention. Depending on the mode of delivery a vaginal approach (i.e. curettage and uterine packing) after spontaneous delivery or an abdominal surgical approach (i.e. compression sutures and systematic devascularization) after a Cesarean delivery can be performed. Uterine compression sutures are especially highly effective and a straightforward and easy emergency procedure which conserves fertility. The ultima ratio in all cases of persistent haemorrhage after conservative and uterus preserving surgical therapy is the emergent hysterectomy. It might be of advantage to perform a subtotal or supracervical hysterectomy compared to a total hysterectomy in an emergency setting.

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