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Nonobstetric D&Cs Linked to Low Complication Rate

Procedures were often used for postmenopausal bleeding, polyps, endometrial hyperplasia

FRIDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- The intraoperative complication rate for nonobstetric dilation and curettage (D&C) procedures in a sample of women was relatively low, according to research published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Lukas Hefler, M.D., of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, and colleagues analyzed data from 5,359 nonobstetric D&C procedures performed on an inpatient basis between 1995 and 2006, divided roughly evenly between pre and postmenopausal women. Common indications for the procedure included postmenopausal bleeding, menorrhagia, polyps, and endometrial hyperplasia.

The overall intraoperative complication rate was 1.9 percent, the researchers found. Common complications included uterine perforation in 50 cases, typically in the fundus; false passage in 42 cases; and severe hemorrhage in seven cases. Uterine retroversion, postmenopausal status, and nulliparity were associated with intraoperative complications in multivariable analysis, the authors note.

"Our analysis showed that residents did equally well regarding complication rates as did attending physicians. Of note, we have investigated only intraoperative surgical complications. Other possible surgery-related complications, such as infection, pulmonary emboli, and thrombosis, and other complications potentially related to anesthesia or lithotomy position, were beyond the scope of the present study," Hefler and colleagues conclude.

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