The performance and safety of bilateral salpingectomy for ovarian cancer prevention in the United States

Gillian Elizabeth Hanley, Jessica Nell McAlpine, Celeste Leigh Pearce, Dianne Miller
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2017, 216 (3): 270.e1-270.e9

BACKGROUND: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death due to gynecologic malignancy and the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in developed countries. Recent evidence has indicated that the most common and lethal form of ovarian cancer originates in the distal fallopian tube, and recommendations for surgical removal of the fallopian tube (bilateral salpingectomy) at the time of other gynecologic surgeries (particularly hysterectomy and tubal sterilization) have been made, most recently by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to assess the uptake and perioperative safety of bilateral salpingectomy at the time of hysterectomy and tubal sterilization in the United States and to examine the factors associated with increased likelihood of bilateral salpingectomy.

STUDY DESIGN: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to identify all girls and women 15 years or older without gynecologic cancer who underwent inpatient hysterectomy or tubal sterilization, with and without bilateral salpingectomy, from 2008 through 2013. Weighted estimates of national rates of these procedures were calculated and the number of procedures performed estimated. Safety was assessed by examining rates of blood transfusions, perioperative complications, postprocedural infection, and fever, and adjusted odds ratios were calculated comparing hysterectomy with salpingectomy with hysterectomy alone.

RESULTS: We included 425,180 girls and women who underwent inpatient hysterectomy from 2008 through 2013 representing a national cohort of 2,036,449 (95% confidence interval, 1,959,374-2,113,525) girls and women. There was an increase in the uptake of hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy of 371% across the study period, with 7.7% of all hysterectomies including bilateral salpingectomy in 2013 (15.8% among girls and women retaining their ovaries). There were only 1195 salpingectomies for sterilization, thus no further comparisons were possible. In the girls and women who had hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy, there was no increased risk for blood transfusion (adjusted odds ratio, 0.95; 95% confidence interval, 0.86-1.05) postoperative complications (adjusted odds ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.88-1.07), postoperative infections (adjusted odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 0.90-1.78), or fevers (adjusted odds ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.77) compared with women undergoing hysterectomy alone. Younger age, private for-profit hospital setting, larger hospital size, and indication for hysterectomy were all associated with increased likelihood of getting a hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy in women retaining their ovaries.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy is significantly increasing in the United States and is not associated with increased risks of postoperative complications.

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