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Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2010 Oct-Dec;53(4):634-9. doi: 10.4103/0377-4929.72006.

The surgical pathologist and laparoscopic gynecologic surgeries.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, T.N. Medical College & BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai, India.



Laparoscopic surgery is a recent advance in the field of gynecological surgery. There are innumerable reports in literature on its advantages and disadvantages. However, problems faced by the surgical pathologist during grossing and histopathological reporting of these morcellated specimens have never been discussed before. We present our experience and the difficulties faced by a gynecologic pathologist (first author) and try to provide some clues for their solution.


Sample size was 153 consecutive laparoscopic specimens, which varied from in toto uterus with cervix, fibroid or ovarian cyst to morcellated specimens. 153 non-laparoscopic gynecologic specimens constituted controls; 34.0% were ovarian cystectomies and remaining 66.0% were hysterectomies, myomectomies and salpingectomies, of which 36.6% were morcellated, rest were in toto.


Contents were not seen in majority of the ovarian cystectomies. Many more sections were taken in morcellated specimens, as compared to controls, for identification of endometrium, endocervix and ectocervix. Even then, in occasional cases identification was not possible. Congested bits in morcellated specimens interpreted as endometrium on grossing turned out to be parametrial tissue. Ectocervix could be identified as soft tissue bits covered by whitish membrane. Identification of transformation zone of the cervix was not possible in any of the morcellated hysterectomy specimens.


The advantage of laparoscopic gynecological surgery to the patient need not prove to be so for surgical pathologist. The present study does not discourage gynecologists from performing laparoscopic surgeries but wishes to highlight the surgical pathologist's problems and limitations.

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