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Operative laparoscopy as the mainstay method in management of hemodynamically unstable patients with ectopic pregnancy.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety and sustainability of operative laparoscopy in hemodynamically unstable women with ectopic pregnancy according to the effect of operator experience on success rates, whether the volume of hemoperitoneum affects the operative method used, and requirements for admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and administration of blood transfusion.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study (Canadian Task Force classification II-A).

SETTING: University hospital.

PATIENTS: Between January 2003 and February 2010, 505 women with ectopic pregnancy (55 tubal, 4 ovarian, 7 cornual, and 1 in the cesarean scar) were seen, including 124 women with hemoperitoneum greater than 500 mL, of whom 67 were hemodynamically unstable.

INTERVENTIONS: Operative laparoscopy.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The greater the volume of hemoperitoneum, the greater the likelihood of hemodynamic instability. The odds of hemodynamic instability were greater in nontubal ectopic pregnancies. The overall operative laparoscopy rate in hemodynamically unstable patients was 85%, compared with 95% in hemodynamically stable women. The volume of hemoperitoneum did not affect the operative method used. Experienced operators had a 100% success rate at operative laparoscopy in hemodynamically unstable women, compared with a 72% success rate with confident operators. A small number of women required admission to the ICU. Although the laparoscopy group required more blood transfusions, they had a shorter length of hospital stay compared with the laparotomy group.

CONCLUSION: Operative laparoscopy is safe and sustainable in most women with hemodynamic instability. Women who undergo operative laparoscopy do no worse than those who undergo laparotomy, and even those who require ICU admission still benefit from the advantages of operative laparoscopy.

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