Opportunistic salpingectomy for ovarian cancer prevention

Gillian E Hanley, Jessica N McAlpine, Janice S Kwon, Gillian Mitchell
Gynecologic Oncology Research and Practice 2015, 2: 5
Recently accumulated evidence has strongly indicated that the fallopian tube is the site of origin for the majority of high-grade serous ovarian or peritoneal carcinomas. As a result, recommendations have been made to change surgical practice in women at general population risk for ovarian cancer and perform bilateral salpingectomy at the time of hysterectomy without oophorectomy and in lieu of tubal ligation, a practice that has been termed opportunistic salpingectomy (OS). Despite suggestions that bilateral salpingectomy may be used as an interim procedure in women with BRCA1/2 mutations, enabling them to delay oophorectomy, there is insufficient evidence to support this practice as a safe alternative and risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy remains the recommended standard of care for high-risk women. While evidence on uptake of OS is sparse, it points toward increasing practice of OS during hysterectomy. The practice of OS for sterilization purposes, although expanding, appears to be less common. Operative and perioperative complications as measured by administered blood transfusions, hospital length of stay and readmissions were not increased with the addition of OS either at time of hysterectomy or for sterilization. Additional operating room time was 16 and 10 min for OS with hysterectomy and OS for sterilization, respectively. Short-term studies of the consequences of OS on ovarian function indicate no difference between women undergoing hysterectomy alone and hysterectomy with OS, but no long-term data exist. There is emerging evidence of effectiveness of excisional sterilization on reducing ovarian cancer rates from Rochester (OR = 0.36 95 % CI 0.13, 1.02), and bilateral salpingectomy from Denmark (OR = 0.58 95 % CI 0.36, 0.95) and Sweden (HR = 0.35, 95 % CI 0.17, 0.73), but these studies suffer from limitations, including that they were performed for pathological rather than prophylactic purposes. Initial cost-effectiveness modeling indicates that OS is cost-effective over a wide range of costs and risk estimates. While preliminary safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness data are promising, further research is needed (particularly long-term data on ovarian function) to firmly establish the safety of the procedure. The marginal benefit of OS compared with tubal ligation or hysterectomy alone needs to be established through large prospective studies of OS done for prophylaxis.

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