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Transvaginal vs Laparoscopic Cuff Closure to Prevent Dehiscence


  • Vaginal cuff dehiscence is estimated to be between 0.1-0.2% following open or vaginal hysterectomy
  • Some reports have suggested that minimally invasive procedures may result in increased risk for dehiscence
  • Previous literature has reported that a transvaginal approach to vaginal cuff closure at the end of an otherwise totally endoscopic hysterectomy reduces the risk of postoperative vaginal breakdown
  • Uccella et al. (AJOG, 2018) undertook an RCT to compare laparoscopic vs TV closure of the vaginal vault following laparoscopic hysterectomy


  • Multicentered randomized study
  • Participants: Patients undergoing total laparoscopic hysterectomy for benign indications
  • Patients received vaginal closure through either:
    • Transvaginal approach
      • Vaginal closures had a single-layer running braided and coated 0-polyglactic suture
    • Laparoscopic approach
  • Monopolar energy for colpotomy was set at 60W
  • In all cases an attempt was performed to include the posterior peritoneum in the suture
  • Laparoscopic knots were tied intracorporeally
  • 3 month follow up to identify possible vaginal cuff complications
  • Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed to identify independent predictors of vaginal cuff dehiscence after total laparoscopic hysterectomy
  • Primary outcome
    • Rate of vaginal cuff dehiscence
    • Secondary outcomes were
      • Vaginal bleeding, vaginal cuff hematoma, postoperative infection, vaginal resuturing, any reoperation, and a combined outcome defined as “any cuff complication,” including any patient with at least 1 vaginal dehiscence, vaginal hematoma, vaginal bleeding, postoperative infection, or vaginal resuturing


  • Study was stopped early following interim analysis
  • 1,408 patients were enrolled in a prespecified interim analysis
    • 13 (0.9%) women did not undergo the postoperative assessment and were excluded
  • Baseline characteristics of the 1395 patients included (695 in the transvaginal group and 700 in the laparoscopic group) were similar
  • Patients in the transvaginal group had significantly higher rates of the following
    • Vaginal dehiscence: 2.7% vs 1%; odds ratio (OR) 2.78; 95% CI, 1.16–6.63 (P=.01)
    • Cuff complications: 9.8% vs 4.7%; OR 2.19; 95% CI, 1.43–3.37 (P=.0003)
  • After multivariable analysis, transvaginal closure of the vault was independently associated with higher rates of vaginal dehiscence and vaginal complications
  • Higher risk of dehiscence was also associated with premenopausal status and smoking habit


  • Laparoscopic closure is associated with reduced risk for vaginal dehiscence, any cuff complication, vaginal bleeding, vaginal cuff hematoma, postoperative infection, need for vaginal resuture, and reintervention
  • Possible explanations for laparoscopic closure being a superior approach are
    • Performing the suture intraabdominally allows the surgeon to incorporate the peritoneum
    • Closing the gap between the vaginal mucosa and the pouch of Douglas may decrease postoperative oozing reducing hematoma risk
    • Magnification capability using laparoscopy

Learn More – Primary Sources:

Laparoscopic vs transvaginal cuff closure after total laparoscopic hysterectomy: a randomized trial by the Italian Society of Gynecologic Endoscopy