Background: Several studies have addressed the issue of undetected uterine pathology in women undergoing hysterectomy for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). However, these studies differ largely with respect to the incidence of malignancy found, study population, and preoperative evaluation.
Objectives: To assess the risk of unexpected pre-malignant and malignant uterine pathological findings after vaginal hysterectomy for POP repair, in a single medical center in Israel.
Methods: A retrospective study was performed of all patients who underwent vaginal hysterectomy due to symptomatic POP between January 1990 and April 2015 in a single tertiary medical center. Selected clinical and pathological data were retrieved from the computerized medical records. All specimens were routinely sent for histopathological assessment. All women were managed according to a uniform protocol that required the presence of a preoperative normal Pap smear, and included preoperative transvaginal sonography and endometrial biopsy when indicated. Patients in whom premalignant or malignant lesions were found preoperatively were not included in the study.
Results: The study comprised 667 patients. The overall rate of malignant or significant premalignant pathologies (6 cases) was 0.89%, including one (0.14%) case of endometrial carcinoma. All premalignant and malignant pathologies were found only in post-menopausal patients. The rate of significant endometrial pathological lesions found in asymptomatic post-menopausal women was only 0.35%.
Conclusions: The rate of preoperatively undetected abnormal histopathological findings in patients who undergo vaginal hysterectomy due to POP is very low, and therefore more extensive preoperative evaluation is not warranted in them.