Robotic Transabdominal Cerclage vs Laparotomy: A Comparison of Obstetric and Surgical Outcomes

Rachael B. Smith, Janel Brink, Chengcheng Hu, Richard Gerkin, Jordan H. Perlow, Jamal Mourad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To compare obstetric and surgical outcomes of transabdominal cerclage (TAC) via laparotomy (TAC-LAP) versus robotic-assisted (TAC-RA) approaches. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: An academic medical center. Patients: Sixty-nine women with acquired or congenital cervical insufficiency. Interventions: All women underwent TAC either by laparotomy or robotic-assisted approaches by 2 primary surgeons between January 2003 and July 2018. Women with a preconceptional TAC without a subsequent pregnancy were excluded. Measurements and Main Results: A total of 69 women met inclusion criteria in the 15-year study period with 40 in the historical TAC-LAP group and 29 in the TAC-RA group. Gestational age at delivery was similar in the 2 groups (36 weeks 3 days vs 37 weeks; median difference −1 day, 95% confidence interval [CI] −6 to 2, p = .36). There were no differences in birth weight, Apgar scores, neonatal intensive care unit admission, or neonatal survival. Estimated blood loss and length of stay were significantly greater in the TAC-LAP group (50 mL vs 20 mL; median difference 25, 95% CI 5–40, p = .007 and 76 hours vs 3 hours; median difference 71, 95% CI 65–75, p <.001, respectively). Operative time was significantly shorter in the TAC-LAP group (65 minutes vs 132 minutes; median difference −64.7, 95% CI −79 to −49, p <.001). There was one intra-operative complication and 4 minor postoperative complications in the TAC-LAP group and none observed in the TAC-RA group. All outcomes were similar when comparing postconceptional TAC alone, except there was no longer a difference in blood loss. When comparing pre- versus postconceptional robotic TAC, there were no differences in surgical outcomes. Conclusion: Robotic TAC has similar favorable obstetric outcomes to traditional laparotomy and is associated with reduced blood loss and shorter hospital stays. Despite longer operative times, the robotic group did not experience any intra-operative or postoperative complications, which speaks to the benefits of this minimally invasive approach to TAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1095-1102
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Cervical insufficiency
  • Cervicoisthmic cerclage
  • Robotic-assisted cerclage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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