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BJOG. 2007 Mar;114(3):356-61. Epub 2007 Jan 22.

Internal iliac artery ligation for arresting postpartum haemorrhage.

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KEM Hospital, Pune, India.



To study the role of internal iliac artery ligation (IIAL) in arresting and preventing postpartum haemorrhage (PPH).


Retrospective chart review of women undergoing therapeutic IIAL for PPH or prophylactic IIAL for risk of PPH.


Tertiary care hospital in Pune, India.


Women admitted to King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, Pune, India, who underwent IIAL to control or prevent PPH.


Bilateral IIAL was performed in all women.


Need for re-laparotomy or hysterectomy to control haemorrhage, complications of the procedure.


Out of 110 women who underwent IIAL, 88 had therapeutic IIAL for PPH from atony (36), genital tract injury (23), placenta praevia (21), placental abruption (4), uterine inversion (3) or coagulopathy (1). Hysterectomy was performed after IIAL failed to arrest haemorrhage in 33 (39.3%) of 84 women (excluding 4 with vaginal lacerations). Hysterectomy was more likely with uterine rupture (79%) than with nontraumatic PPH (up to 27%). Failure to control haemorrhage by IIAL was evident immediately, and bleeding arrested by IIAL did not recur to require later laparotomy in any woman. Out of 22 women at high risk for PPH undergoing prophylactic IIAL at caesarean section, none had subsequent haemorrhage. One woman had an iliac vein injury that was repaired with no further morbidity. There were no ischaemic complications either during inpatient stay or up to 6 weeks.


IIAL is useful in the treatment and prevention of PPH from any cause. Early resort to IIAL effectively prevents hysterectomy in women with atonic PPH. In traumatic PPH, IIAL facilitates hysterectomy or repair as indicated and prevents reactionary haemorrhage.

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