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Dan Med Bull. 2002 Nov;49(4):353-7.

Hysterectomy in Denmark. An analysis of postoperative hospitalisation, morbidity and readmission.

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  • 1National Board of Health, Danish Centre for Evaluation and Health Technology Assessment, Islands Brygge 67, P.O. Box 1881, DK-2300 Copenhagen S.



The aim of this study was to describe the incidence of "standard" hysterectomy in Denmark, including surgical procedure, postoperative hospitalisation, morbidity, mortality and readmission rate within 30 days.


Analysis of data from the Danish National Patient Register for a two-year period (1998-2000) concerning hysterectomies for benign indications, carcinoma in situ cervicis uteri and endometrial carcinoma stage I. A stratified sample of 821 discharge resumés was reviewed for detection of complications.


During the two years 10,171 women underwent "standard" hysterectomy followed by a median postoperative hospitalisation of 4 days. In departments performing more than 100 operations per year, the median hospital stay varied from 3 to 5.5 days. Eighty per cent were performed by laparotomy, 6% laparoscopically assisted and 14% by the vaginal route with marked regional variation in the choice of surgical approach. The number of vaginal hysterectomies varied from 0-67% in departments with a surgical activity of more than 100 per year. The mortality rate was 0.06% and 8% were readmitted within 30 days after the operation. If allowing extrapolation from the random sample to the entire population the complication rate was estimated to a minimum of 18%.


"Standard" hysterectomy in Denmark is associated with considerable morbidity and marked regional variation in choice of surgical approach. The present study emphasizes the need for a national hysterectomy database with the possibility of evaluating surgical activity, reducing morbidity rates and developing homogeneous guidelines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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