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J Pak Med Assoc. 2011 Feb;61(2):149-53.

Manual vacuum aspiration: a safe and cost-effective substitute of electric vacuum aspiration for the surgical management of early pregnancy loss.

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Maternal and Child Health Centre, Unit-I, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad.



To compare the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) with Electrical vacuum aspiration (EVA) in the management of first trimester pregnancy loss.


A single-centre randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted at Maternal and Child Health Centre (MCHC), Unit-I, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Islamabad from April 2007-Dec 2008. A total of 176 cases with early pregnancy loss at < 12 weeks gestation, with a diagnosis of anembryonic pregnancy, incomplete, missed or septic induced abortion and molar pregnancy were randomly allocated to either MVA or EVA in the operation theatre.


A total of 176 women were included out of which 70 underwent EVA and 106 had MVA. Baseline characteristics were similar in the two groups except significantly higher gestational age and gestational sac diameter in MVA group. Majority of EVA were performed under general anaesthesia (95.7%) while majority of MVA were performed under paracervical block (60.3%). Complete evacuation was achieved in 89.6% with MVA vs 91.4% with EVA (p=0.691). MVA was superior in terms of significantly less blood loss (62.08 +/- 32.19 vs 75.71 +/- 35.53; p=0.008), shorter hospital stay (12.26 hours +/- 6.97 vs 19.54 hours +/- 7.95; p=0.000) and less hospital cost (Rs 1419.5 +/- 1337.620 vs Rs. 3222.5 +/- 1816.02; p=0.000). Post-operative pain assessment by visual analogue score (VAS) at 0 and 6 hours showed no significant difference (p=0.845 and p=0.157 respectively). The only complication was uterine perforation in 2 (2.4%) cases both belonging to EVA.


MVA is a safe and effective alternative of conventional EVA. It is superior to EVA in terms of reduced cost and need for general anaesthesia and is thus useful at low resource setting with scarcity of electricity and general anaesthesia.

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