[Vaginal vault fluid collection after hysterectomy. Frequency and clinical significance].
ABSTRACT Our aim was to investigate the prevalence of sonographically detectable vault fluid collection after hysterectomy and its relation to post-operative morbidity.
We studied a group of 103 women below 60 years of age who had undergone abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy for benign causes apart from uterovaginal prolapse. A transvaginal ultrasound examination was carried out 24 to 72 hours after surgery. A telephone follow-up and a record review were done six to eight weeks later to determine the morbidity rate.
Of the 103 women scanned, 39 (38%) had sonographically detected vaginal vault fluid collection. A haemoglobin concentration drop was observed in a significant number of patients (33% vs. 13%) who had fluid collection in the immediate post-operative period. At follow-up, a significant increase in the complaints of post-operative pain (15% vs. 42%) and re-presentation (32% vs. 55%) was seen in the fluid collection group. The increased risk of re-presentation was not accompanied by an increased risk of needing additional treatment.
Sonographic detection of vaginal vault fluid collection is common after hysterectomy, but such a finding rarely indicates additional treatment. Vaginal ultrasound examination should not be performed routinely after hysterectomy.