Study Objective: Cesarean scar defect (CSD) is often associated with postmenstrual bleeding, infertility, and pain. Hysteroscopic CSD repair was described in the past, mainly as excision of the proximal edge of the defect to allow continuous blood flow during menstruation. In this study we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of extensive hysteroscopic cesarean scar niche excision in symptomatic patients. Design: A retrospective cohort study. Patients: Symptomatic patients treated with hysteroscopic CSD excision who were considered eligible for the procedure when myometrial thickness of 2 mm or more was observed on sonohysterography. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Interventions: Extensive CSD excision was performed using a cutting loop and pure cutting current. The proximal and distal edges of the defect were resected. This was followed by resection of tissue at the base of the niche, until underling muscular tissue was evident. Tissue sampled from the base of the CSD was collected for histologic examination. Patients were followed for a minimum of 1 year after hysteroscopic CSD excision. Clinical information obtained included detailed obstetric history and preoperative and postoperative menstruation pattern. Measurements and Main Results: Between 2011 and 2016, 95 patients underwent extensive hysteroscopic niche excision; 67 were included in the study, whereas the remaining were lost to follow-up. Patient mean age at the time of the procedure was 38 ± 5.5 years. Twenty-nine patients (43%) had a history of high-order repeat cesarean surgeries. Sixty-six patients (98.5%) presented with postmenstrual bleeding, 26 with secondary infertility (38.8%), and 2 with pelvic pain (2.9%). After hysteroscopic niche excision, 63.4% of patients reported significant improvement or resolution of postmenstrual bleeding. A statistically significant reduction in number of bleeding days per cycle (15.5 ± 4.8 vs 9.8 ± 4.7, p < .001) was also noted. Histologic evidence for myometrial tissue within the obtained samples was associated with better outcomes. A histologic specimen from patients who experienced significant improvement or resolution of postmenstrual bleeding was more likely to reveal myometrial tissue (p = .04). Of the 26 patients who suffered from infertility, 19 attempted to conceive spontaneously after CSD excision. Of those, 10 patients (52.6%) conceived and 9 delivered at least once (47.36%). Conclusion: Extensive hysteroscopic surgical excision of cesarean scar niche should be considered in symptomatic patients suffering from irregular menstrual bleeding. The quality of the excision at the apex of the niche could be associated with a higher success rate. The role of niche excision to overcome secondary infertility should be further evaluated.
- Cesarean scar defect
- Hysteroscopic repair