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Open Access Research article

Hysterectomy at a Canadian tertiary care facility: results of a one year retrospective review

Alina Toma1*, Wilma M Hopman2 and R Hugh Gorwill1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen's University, Victory 4, Stuart Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 2V7

2 Clinical Research Centre, Kingston General Hospital and the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 2V7

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BMC Women's Health 2004, 4:10  doi:10.1186/1472-6874-4-10

Published: 23 November 2004



The purpose of this study was to investigate the indications for and approach to hysterectomy at Kingston General Hospital (KGH), a teaching hospital affiliated with Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario. In particular, in light of current literature and government standards suggesting the superiority of vaginal versus abdominal approaches and a high number of concurrent oophorectomies, the aim was to examine the circumstances in which concurrent oophorectomies were performed and to compare abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy outcomes.


A retrospective chart audit of 372 consecutive hysterectomies performed in 2001 was completed. Data regarding patient characteristics, process of care and outcomes were collected. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-tests and linear and logistic regression.


Average age was 48.5 years, mean body mass index (BMI) was 28.6, the mean length of stay (LOS) was 5.2 days using an abdominal approach and 3.0 days using a vaginal approach without laparoscopy. 14% of hysterectomies were performed vaginally, 5.9% were laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomies and the rest were abdominal hysterectomies. The most common indication was dysfunctional or abnormal uterine bleeding (37%). The average age of those that had an oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries) was 50.8 years versus 44.3 years for those that did not (p < .05). Factors associated with LOS included surgical approach, age and the number of concurrent procedures.


A significant reduction in LOS was found using the vaginal approach. Both the patient and the health care system may benefit from the tendency towards an increased use of vaginal hysterectomies. The audit process demonstrated the usefulness of an on-going review mechanism to examine trends associated with common surgical procedures.