Objectives To study the outcome of various hysterectomies in 2 years 1996 (N =10110) and 2006 (N=5279). The hypothesis was that the change in operative practices in 10 years has resulted in improvements.
Design 2 prospective nationwide cohort evaluations with the same questionnaire.
Setting All national operative hospitals in Finland.
Participants Patients scheduled to either abdominal hysterectomy (AH), vaginal hysterectomy (VH) or laparoscopic hysterectomy (LH) for benign disease.
Outcome measures Patients’ characteristics, surgery-related details and complications (organ injury, infection, venous thromboembolism and haemorrhage).
Results The overall complication rates fell in LH and markedly in VH (from 22.2% to 11.7%, p<0.001). The overall surgery-related infectious morbidity decreased in all groups and significantly in VH (from 12.3% to 5.2%, p<0.001) and AH (from 9.9% to 7.7%, p<0.05). The incidence of bowel lesions in VH sank from 0.5% to 0.1% and of ureter lesions in LH from 1.1% to 0.3%. In 2006 there were no deaths compared with three in 1996.
Conclusions The rate of postoperative complications fell markedly in the decade from 1996 to 2006. This parallels with the recommendation of the recent meta-analyses by Cochrane collaboration; the order of preference of hysterectomies was for the first time precisely followed in this nationwide study.
Trial registration The 2006 study was registered in the Clinical Trials of Protocol Registration System Data (NCT00744172).
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