ABSTRACT: Worldwide, the most commonly used method of fertility regulation is tubal sterilisation. In developed countries sterilisation is generally performed by laparoscopy rather than by minilaparotomy, based on the belief that this approach is both safe and effective. In developing countries, where the resources are limited for the purchase and maintenance of the more sophisticated laparoscopic equipment, minilaparotomy may still be the most common approach. In both resource poor and industrialised countries using the technique with the greatest effectiveness and safety, together with the least costs, is extremely important. Though both methods are widely used, the advantages and disadvantages of laparoscopic sterilisation compared to mini-laparotomy have not been systematically evaluated. The ideal method would be one which is highly effective, economical, able to be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing rapid resumption of normal activity, producing a minimal or invisible scar and having a potential for reversibility. This review considers the methods to enter the abdominal cavity through the abdominal wall, either by minilaparotomy, laparoscopy or culdoscopy regardless of the technique used for tubal sterilisation.
To evaluate laparoscopic tubal sterilisation, as compared to minilaparotomy in terms of operative morbidity and mortality. Trials comparing laparoscopy or minilaparotomy with culdoscopy were also included in the review. Different methods used to interrupt tubal patency (excision, occlusion and coagulation) and comparison of different forms of anaesthesia will be considered in different reviews.
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have been identified by using the search strategy of the Cochrane Collaboration. The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register was last searched in 1999 (Cochrane Library Issue 4, 1999). Reference lists of identified trials have been searched.
All randomised controlled trials comparing laparoscopy, minilaparotomy and/or culdoscopy for tubal sterilisation. Except in one trial [Taner 1994] where 4 women underwent curettage at the same time, all women requested tubal sterilisation as an interval procedure.
Trials under consideration were evaluated for methodological quality and appropriateness for inclusion. Data were extracted independently by the reviewers. Results are reported as odds ratio for dichotomous outcomes and weighted mean differences for continuous outcomes.
Minilaparotomy vs laparoscopy: There was no difference in major morbidity between the 2 groups. Minor morbidity was significantly less in the laparoscopy group (Peto OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.38, 2.59). Duration of operation was about 5 minutes shorter in the laparoscopy group (WMD 5.34; 95% CI 4.52, 6.16). Minilaparotomy vs culdoscopy: Women undergoing culdoscopy had more major morbidity than women for whom minilaparotomy was performed (Peto OR 0.14; 95% CI 0.02, 0.98). Duration of operation was about 5 minutes shorter in women undergoing culdoscopy (WMD 4.91; 95% CI 3.82, 6.01). Laparoscopy vs culdoscopy: In the one trial comparing the two interventions there were no significant differences between the groups with regard to major morbidity. Significantly more women suffered from minor morbidities in the culdoscopy group compared to the laparoscopy group (Peto OR 0.20; 95% CI 0.05, 0.77).
Major morbidity seems to be a rare outcome for both, laparoscopy and minilaparotomy. The included studies had limited power to demonstrate significant differences especially for the relatively rare but potentially serious outcomes. Personal preference of the woman and/or of the surgeon can guide the choice of technique. Practical aspects (e.g. cost, maintenance, and sterilisation of the instruments) must be taken into account before implementing the more sophisticated endoscopic techniques in settings with limited resources. Culdoscopy is not recommended as it carries a higher complication rate.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 02/2002; · 5.72 Impact Factor