Gastroenterol Res
Gastroenterology Research, ISSN 1918-2805 print, 1918-2813 online, Open Access
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Letter to the Editor

Volume 10, Number 1, February 2017, pages 63


Intestinal Injury Associated With Uterine Perforation due to Surgical Abortion in Japan

Shunji Suzuki

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Japanese Red Cross Katsushika Maternity Hospital, 5-11-12 Tateishi, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo 124-0012, Japan

Manuscript accepted for publication January 05, 2017
Short title: Intestinal Injury Associated With Uterine Perforation
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr766w

To the Editor▴Top 

Unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality. Uterine perforation has been observed to be one of main complications of surgical abortion. In 2012, for example, there were 19 uterine perforations in 100,851 induced abortions at less than 12 weeks of pregnancy (18.0 per 100,000) in Japan [1]. To date, some reviews and case reports had been reported concerning the presence of intestinal injuries associated with surgical abortion; however, the incidence of the complication has not been well documented [2-4].

We requested 2,544 obstetrical facilities that are members of Japan Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to provide information of uterine perforation associated with surgical abortion between 2011 and 2015. A total of 63 cases of uterine perforation were reported during the study period.

Table 1 shows the clinical description and outcomes of the 63 cases of uterine perforation due to surgical abortion. As shown in Table 1, the rate of perforation requiring surgical repair of uterus was at least 84%, while the incidence of intestinal injury requiring surgical repair was at least 56%. In addition, an ostomy was required in three cases of them (3/35; 9%).

Table 1.
Click to view
Table 1. Clinical Description and Outcomes of 63 Cases of Uterine Perforation due to Surgical Abortion
 

In the current observation in Japan, the incidence of intestinal injury in the uterine perforations due to surgical abortion seemed to be high (about 60%). The incidence of total complications and uterine perforation associated with surgical abortion in Japan has seemed to be lower than that in the Western countries [1]. In Japan, the rate of sharp curettage still remains one of the most frequently used procedures for surgical abortion unlike the Western countries. The intraperitoneal manipulation with placental forceps and/or sharp curettage may be easy to damage the intestinal tract. If uterine perforation is suspected following surgical abortion in Japan, we should not prevent hesitating laparotomy.


References▴Top 
  1. Sekiguchi A, Ikeda T, Okamura K, Nakai A. Safety of induced abortions at less than 12 weeks of pregnancy in Japan. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2015;129(1):54-57.
    doi pubmed
  2. Sama CB, Aminde LN, Angwafo FF, 3rd. Clandestine abortion causing uterine perforation and bowel infarction in a rural area: a case report and brief review. BMC Res Notes. 2016;9:98.
    doi pubmed
  3. Augustin G, Majerovic M, Luetic T. Uterine perforation as a complication of surgical abortion causing small bowel obstruction: a review. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2013;288(2):311-323.
    doi pubmed
  4. Coughlin LM, Sparks DA, Chase DM, Smith J. Incarcerated small bowel associated with elective abortion uterine perforation. J Emerg Med. 2013;44(3):e303-306.
    doi pubmed


This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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