, Volume 283, Issue 4, pp 723-727
Date: 30 Mar 2010

Emergency peripartum hysterectomy

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



To determine the incidence, indications, risk factors and complications of peripartum hysterectomy in a tertiary teaching hospital.


The medical records of 73 patients who had undergone emergency peripartum hysterectomy between 2003 and 2008 were reviewed retrospectively. Maternal characteristics and characteristics of the present pregnancy and delivery, hysterectomy indications, operative complications, postoperative conditions and maternal outcomes were evaluated.


There were 73 emergency peripartum hysterectomies out of 114,720 deliveries, a rate of 0.63 per 1,000 deliveries. Eleven hysterectomies were performed after vaginal delivery (0.12/1,000 vaginal deliveries) and the remaining 62 hysterectomies were performed after cesarean section (2/1,000 cesarean sections). The most common indication for hysterectomy was placenta previa and/or accreta (31 patients, 42.4%), followed by uterine atony (26 patients, 35.6%). In this study, 22 of 29 patients (75.8%) with placenta previa and 12 of 16 patients (75%) with placenta accreta had previously had cesarean sections. Cesarean section is associated with placenta previa and accreta, which are the most common causes of emergency peripartum hysterectomy.


The increase in the cesarean delivery rate is leading to an increase in the rate of abnormal placentation (placenta previa and accreta), which in turn give rise to an increase in the peripartum hysterectomy rate. Cesarean section itself is also a risk factor for emergency peripartum hysterectomy. Therefore, every effort should be made to reduce the cesarean rate by performing this procedure only for valid clinical indications. The risk factors for peripartum hysterectomy should be identified antenatally. The delivery and operation should be performed in appropriate clinical settings by experienced surgeons when risk factors are identified.