Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Effectiveness of ovarian suspension in preventing post-operative ovarian adhesions in women with pelvic endometriosis: A randomised controlled trial

Wee-Liak Hoo*, Ertan Saridogan, Alfred Cutner, George Pandis and Davor Jurkovic

Author Affiliations

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Hospital, 235 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BU, UK

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BMC Women's Health 2011, 11:14  doi:10.1186/1472-6874-11-14

Published: 11 May 2011



Endometriosis is a common benign condition, which is characterized by the growth of endometrial-like tissue in ectopic sites outside the uterus. Laparoscopic excision of the disease is frequently carried out for the treatment of severe endometriosis. Pelvic adhesions often develop following surgery and they can compromise the success of treatment. Ovarian suspension (elevating both ovaries to the anterior abdominal wall using a Prolene suture) is a simple procedure which has been used to facilitate ovarian retraction during surgery for severe pelvic endometriosis. The study aims to assess the effect of temporary ovarian suspension following laparoscopic surgery for severe pelvic endometriosis on the prevalence of post-operative ovarian adhesions.


A prospective double blind randomised controlled trial for patients with severe pelvic endometriosis requiring extensive laparoscopic dissection with preservation of the uterus and ovaries. Severity of the disease and eligibility for inclusion will be confirmed at surgery. Patients unable to provide written consent, inability to tolerate a transvaginal ultrasound scan, unsuccessful surgeries or suffer complications leading to oophorectomies, bowel injuries or open surgery will be excluded.

Both ovaries are routinely suspended to the anterior abdominal wall during surgery. At the end of the operation, each participant will be randomised to having only one ovary suspended post-operatively. A new transabdominal suture will be reinserted to act as a placebo. Both sutures will be cut 36 to 48 hours after surgery before the woman is discharged home. Three months after surgery, all randomised patients will have a transvaginal ultrasound scan to assess for ovarian mobility. Both the patients and the person performing the scan will be blinded to the randomisation process.

The primary outcome is the prevalence of ovarian adhesions on ultrasound examination. Secondary outcomes are the presence, intensity and site of post-operative pain.


This controlled trial will provide evidence as to whether temporary ovarian suspension should be included into the routine surgical treatment of women with severe pelvic endometriosis.

Trial registration