Primary and Repeated Surgeries for Ectopic Pregnancies and Distribution by Patient Age, Surgeon Age, and Hospital Levels: An 11-Year Nationwide Population-Based Descriptive Study in Taiwan

Ming I. Hsu, Chao Hsiun Tang, Pei Yang Hsu, Yu Tung Huang, Cheng Yu Long, Kuan Hui Huang, Ming-Ping Wu

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objective: To describe the changing trend, repeat operation rate, and distribution of laparoscopy, as compared with laparotomy, in treating ectopic pregnancy, according to patient age, preoperative conditions, surgeon age, and hospital accreditation level, in Taiwan over 11-years. Design: Retrospective cohort study (Canadian Task Force classification II-2). Setting: Population-based nationwide insurance database. Patients: Women who underwent either laparotomy or laparoscopy because of ectopic pregnancy. Interventions: Women who had National Health Insurance (NHI) underwent various surgical procedures to treat ectopic pregnancy. Data for this study were obtained from the Inpatient Expenditures by Admissions files of the NHI Research Database, released by the NHI program in Taiwan between 1997 and 2007. Measurements and Main Results: A total of 43 170 women with 44 928 operations were identified. Only the primary surgeries, via either laparotomy or laparoscopy, performed because of ectopic pregnancy were included for analysis. The annual number of procedures to treat ectopic pregnancies decreased in the later years of the 11-year study. Laparotomy decreased significantly, from 81.2% in 1997 to 26.2% in 2007, whereas laparoscopic procedures increased significantly, from 18.8% in 1997 to 73.8% in 2007, as evidenced at log-linear regression analysis (p <.001). The rate of repeat operations because of persistent ectopic pregnancy was higher in the laparoscopy group than in the laparotomy group (0.38% vs 0.14 %; p <.001). Patients were more likely to undergo the same type of operation for the repeated surgery (i.e., laparotomy to laparotomy in 73.1% or laparoscopy to laparoscopy in 80.2%; p = 0.43). Use of laparoscopy (58.1%) and laparotomy (41.9%) differed according to patient age, preoperative comorbidities, surgeon age, and hospital accreditation level and ownership type. With older patients, those with preoperative anemia or shock, and elder surgeons, there was a greater chance that laparotomy would be performed. The probability of undergoing laparotomy was greater in patients in regional hospitals, local hospitals, and office-based clinics compared with those in medical centers. Conclusions: There has been considerable change in the type of surgical approach used to treat ectopic pregnancy in Taiwan over the past 11 years. Laparoscopy is preferred to laparotomy, and has become the standard surgical approach to treating ectopic pregnancies in Taiwan. However, laparoscopy is associated with a higher rate of repeat operations. The laparoscopic approach signifies a profound change in treating ectopic pregnancies among patients, surgeons, and hospital types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-605
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • Anemia
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Hemorrhagic shock
  • Hospital accreditation
  • Laparoscopy
  • Laparotomy
  • National Health Insurance Research Database
  • Salpingectomy
  • Salpingostomy
  • Salpingotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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