Laparoscopic Major Vascular Injuries in Gynecologic Surgery for Benign Indications: A Systematic Review

Nathan R. King*, Emily Lin, Chen Yeh, Jacqueline M.K. Wong, Jaclyn Friedman, Jessica Traylor, Susan Tsai, Angela Chaudhari, Magdy P. Milad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE:To identify the incidence, location, etiology, and mortality of major vascular injuries in gynecologic laparoscopy for benign indications.DATA SOURCES:A systematic review of PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library,, and MEDLINE was conducted.METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION:One thousand ninety-seven studies were screened for inclusion with 147 full-text articles reviewed. Sixty-six studies published between 1978 and 2016 met inclusion criteria, representing 197,062 surgeries. Articles that were included reported the incidence of major vascular injuries during gynecologic laparoscopy for benign indications. Exclusion criteria included surgery for gynecologic malignancy, duplicated data, case series and reports, manuscripts not in English, and studies published only as abstracts.TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS:Injuries to the aorta, inferior vena cava, iliac (common, external, or internal), and inferior epigastric vessels were recorded, as were injuries denoted as major but not otherwise specified. A total of 179 major vascular injuries were reported with an incidence of 0.09% (95% CI 0.08-0.10). The inferior epigastric vessels were the most commonly injured vessel (0.04%, 95% CI 0.03-0.05), comprising 48% (95% CI 40-55) of all injuries. The majority of injuries occurred during abdominal entry (82%, 95% CI 76-89), and the remainder occurred during surgical dissection (18%, 95% CI 11-24). Most injuries were recognized intraoperatively (93%, 95% CI 87-100), and approximately half (55%, 95% CI 46-63) required laparotomy for repair. Only two of the 179 major vascular injuries resulted in death, for an overall mortality rate from vascular injuries of 0.001% (95% CI 0.000-0.004).CONCLUSION:The incidence of major vascular injury during gynecologic laparoscopy found in this review is very low, and the vast majority of injuries did not result in death. Laparoscopy remains a safe surgical technique in relation to vascular injuries when performed for benign gynecologic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-442
Number of pages9
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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