MULTICENTER STUDY
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Pregnancy outcomes following robot-assisted myomectomy.

Human Reproduction 2013 January
STUDY QUESTION: What are the characteristics of the pregnancy outcomes in women undergoing robot-assisted laparoscopic myomectomy (RALM) for symptomatic leiomyomata uteri?

SUMMARY ANSWER: Despite a high prevalence of women with advanced maternal age, obesity and multiple pregnancy in our cohort, the outcomes are comparable with those reported in the literature for laparoscopic myomectomy.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Reproductive outcomes after traditional laparoscopic myomectomy are well documented. However, reproductive outcomes following robotic myomectomy are not well studied. This paper describes the pregnancy outcomes for a large cohort of women after robotic myomectomy.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This is a retrospective cohort of women who became pregnant after robot-assisted myomectomy at three centers. Of the 872 women who underwent robotic myomectomy during the period October 2005-November 2010, 107 subsequently conceived resulting in 127 pregnancies and 92 deliveries through 2011.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIAL, SETTING, METHODS: Women of reproductive age with fibroids who wanted a minimally invasive treatment option and desired uterine preservation were recruited. We conducted a multicentre study with three centers, two in a private practice and one in an academic setting. Pregnancy outcomes and their relationship to myoma characteristics were analyzed.

MAIN RESULTS AND ROLE OF CHANCE: Mean ± SD age at myomectomy was 34.8 ± 4.5 years and 57.4% [95% confidence interval (CI) 48.0, 66.3] of women were overweight or obese. The mean number of myomas removed was 3.9 ± 3.2 with a mean size of 7.5 ± 3.0 cm and mean weight of 191.7 ± 144.8 g. Entry of the myoma into the endometrial cavity occurred in 20.6% (95% CI 15.0, 27.7) of patients. The mean time to conception was 12.9 ± 11.5 months. Assisted reproduction techniques were employed in 39.4% (95% CI 32.6, 46.7) of these women. Seven twin pregnancies and two triplet pregnancies occurred, for a multiple pregnancy birth rate of 9.8% (95% CI 5.0, 17.8). Spontaneous abortions occurred in 18.9% (95% CI 13.0, 26.6). Preterm delivery prior to 35 weeks of gestational age occurred in 17.4% (95% CI 10.9, 26.5). One uterine rupture (1.1%; 95% CI 0.3, 4.7) was documented. Pelvic adhesions were discovered in 11.4% (95% CI 7.0, 18.0) of patients delivered by Cesarean section. Higher preterm delivery rates were significantly associated with a greater number of myomas removed and anterior location of the largest incision (compared with all other sites) in logistic regression analyses (P = 0.01). None of the myoma characteristics were related to spontaneous abortion.

BIAS, CONFOUNDING AND OTHER REASONS FOR CAUTION: Given the retrospective nature of the data collection, some pregnancies may not have been captured. In addition, owing to the high prevalence of infertility patients in this cohort, the data cannot be used to counsel women who are undergoing RALM about fertility rates after surgery.

GENERALIZABILITY TO OTHER POPULATIONS: Prospective studies are needed to determine if the results shown in our cohort are generalizable to all women seeking a minimally invasive option for the conservative treatment of symptomatic fibroids with pregnancy as a desired outcome.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): There was no funding source for this study.

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