Variation in gynaecological procedure suggests surgery is unnecessary

November 22, 2002

The most common minor surgical procedure in gynaecological practice may be performed unnecessarily, as evidenced by the large variation across regions, says a University of Alberta researcher.

In a paper published in the current edition of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, Dr. David Cumming investigates the rates of dilation and curretage (D&C) for abnormal bleeding and following pregnancy in regions across Alberta.

He and his research team examined D&C in 1.3 million women in 17 sites across Alberta. They found that in some regions, a woman may be five times more likely to have the procedure done as in another region. Although D&C is generally safe, it is a surgical procedure and carries a complication rate.

The literature suggests that D&C is unnecessary and that other simpler less invasive therapy can accomplish what D&C is supposed to do. As well as being more invasive, performing a D&C is much more expensive, Cumming found. The bill for an outpatient hospital D&C was approximately $330 to $433. By contrast, over the same time period, office biopsy in Alberta can cost $32.48. Using estimates from the study, D&C procedures described in this study would cost approximately $3 to $4 million.

The economic reason is a "good incentive to reexamine the role of and the need for D&C, a procedure that may be 'virtually obsolete,'" said Cummings, in the study.

Increasing physician awareness of less invasive options for the management of abnormal uterine bleeding and early pregnancy loss is key, said Cumming.
-end-
The U of A in Edmonton, Alberta is one of Canada's premier teaching and research universities serving more than 30,000 students with 6,000 faculty and staff. It continues to lead the country with the most 3M Teaching Fellows, Canada's only national award recognizing teaching excellence.

University of Alberta

Related Pregnancy Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 has a prolonged effect for many during pregnancy
Symptoms for pregnant women with COVID-19 can be prolonged, lasting two months or longer for a quarter of the women who participated in a national study led by UC San Francisco and UCLA.

Relaxed through pregnancy
A group of researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been able to show that maternal psychological wellbeing during pregnancy has a positive effect on newborn infants.

Trajectories of antidepressant medication use during pregnancy
In an analysis of women who started pregnancy when taking antidepressant medications, investigators identified three trajectories of antidepressant dispensing during pregnancy: more than half stopped their treatment, a quarter maintained their treatment throughout pregnancy, and one-fifth discontinued it for a minimum of three months and then resumed it during the postpartum period.

Are women using e-cigarettes during preconception and/or pregnancy?
A new study of 1,365 racially/ethnically diverse, low-income pregnant women found that 4% reported e-cigarette use.

A better pregnancy test for whales
To determine whale pregnancy, researchers have relied on visual cues or hormone tests of blubber collected via darts, but the results were often inconclusive.

Cannabis use during pregnancy
The large health care system Kaiser Permanente Northern California provides universal screening for prenatal cannabis use in women during pregnancy by self-report and urine toxicology testing.

Questions and answers about cannabis use during pregnancy
A new study shows that women have many medical questions about the use of cannabis both before and during pregnancy, and during the postpartum period while breastfeeding.

The effect of taking antidepressants during pregnancy
Exposure to antidepressants during pregnancy and the first weeks of life can alter sensory processing well into adulthood, according to research in mice recently published in eNeuro.

Is ivermectin safe during pregnancy?
Is it safe to give ivermectin to pregnant women? To answer this question, researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by 'la Caixa,' conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that reported cases of accidental exposure to the drug among pregnant women.

Going to sleep on your back in late pregnancy
This study looked at whether going to sleep on your back in the third trimester of pregnancy was associated with average lower birth weights.

Read More: Pregnancy News and Pregnancy Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.