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06.04.2018 | Pictorial Review | Ausgabe 3/2018 Open Access

Insights into Imaging 3/2018

Multidetector CT of expected findings and complications after hysterectomy

Insights into Imaging > Ausgabe 3/2018
Massimo Tonolini


Indicated to manage a variety of disorders affecting the female genital tract, hysterectomy represents the second most common gynaecological operation after caesarean section. Performed via an open, laparoscopic or vaginal approach, hysterectomy is associated with non-negligible morbidity and occasional mortality. Iatrogenic complications represent a growing concern for gynaecologists and may result in prolonged hospitalisation, need for interventional procedures or repeated surgery, renal impairment and malpractice claims. As a result, radiologists are increasingly requested to investigate patients with suspected complications after hysterectomy. In the vast majority of early postoperative situations, multidetector CT represents the ideal modality to comprehensively visualise the surgically altered pelvic anatomy and to consistently triage the varied spectrum of possible injuries. This pictorial review provides an overview of current indications and surgical techniques, illustrates the expected CT appearances after recent hysterectomy, the clinical and imaging features of specific complications such as lymphoceles, surgical site infections, haemorrhages, urinary tract lesions and fistulas, bowel injury and obstruction. Our aim is to increase radiologists’ familiarity with normal post-hysterectomy findings and with post-surgical complications, which is crucial for an appropriate choice between conservative, interventional and surgical management.

Teaching points

Hysterectomy via open, laparoscopic or vaginal route is associated with non-negligible morbidity.
• Multiplanar CT imaging optimally visualises the surgically altered pelvic anatomy.
• Familiarity with early post-hysterectomy CT and expected findings is warranted.
• Complications encompass surgical site infections, haemorrhages, bowel injury and obstruction.
• Urological complications include ureteral leakage, bladder injury, urinomas and urinary fistulas.
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