Author(s): Nascu PC, Vilos GA, Ettler HC, AbuRafea B, HolletCaines J
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and type of microscopic findings on laparoscopically resected uterosacral ligaments in women with chronic pelvic pain and no visible pelvic disease. The effect of this procedure on the patients' level of pain also was assessed as a secondary objective.
DESIGN: Prospective follow-up (Canadian Task Force classification II-2).
SETTING: University-affiliated hospital.
PATIENTS: Twenty-seven premenopausal women undergoing diagnostic laparoscopy for chronic pelvic pain had a normal pelvis on visual inspection. All patients underwent resection and histologic evaluation of the uterosacral ligaments. Pain relief was evaluated by use of a questionnaire administered before and at 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Microscopic examination identified endometriosis in 2 (7.4%), endosalpingiosis in 3 (11.1%), and inflammation in 14 (51.9%) patients. Laparoscopic uterosacral ligament resection was associated with a reduction in dysmenorrhea (p < or = .001), with 14 (52%) patients reporting improved or resolved symptoms. There was a statistically significant decrease in dyspareunia (p < or = .01) and in the severity of noncyclical pain (p < or = .002). Thirty-five percent of patients no longer required medication for pain control (p < or = .005). The number of days needed off work also decreased.
CONCLUSION: Despite normal laparoscopic appearance, microscopic endometriosis, endosalpingiosis, and inflammatory changes were found in uterosacral ligaments in 17 (63%) women with chronic pelvic pain. Laparoscopic resection of uterosacral ligaments improved dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, and noncyclical pain and decreased the number of days lost from work, as well as the proportion of patients who required medication for pain control.Gynecology & Obstetrics