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Committee Opinion Number 530, July 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Postpartum tubal sterilization is one of the safest and most effective methods of contraception. Women who desire this type of sterilization typically undergo thorough counseling and informed consent during prenatal care and reiterate their desire for postpartum sterilization at the time of their hospital admission. Not all women who desire postpartum sterilization actually undergo the surgical procedure, and women with unfulfilled requests for postpartum sterilization have a high rate of repeat pregnancy (approaching 50%) within the following year. Potentially correctable barriers ...


Committee Opinion Number 278, November 2002

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Clinically significant false-positive human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) test results are rare. However, some individuals have circulating factors in their serum (eg, heterophilic antibodies or nonactive forms of hCG) that interact with the hCG antibody and cause unusual or unexpected test results. False-positive and false-negative test results can occur with any specimen, and caution should be exercised when clinical findings and laboratory results are discordant. Methods to rule out the presence of interfering substances include using a urine test, rerunning the assay with serial ...


Committee Opinion Number 624, February 2015

Reaffirmed 2017

ABSTRACT: Cytology-based cervical cancer screening programs require a number of elements to be successful. Certain low-resource settings, like the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, lack these elements. Implementing alternative cervical cancer screening strategies in low-resource settings can provide consistent, accessible screening opportunities.


Committee Opinion Number 559, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Cesarean delivery on maternal request is defined as a primary prelabor cesarean delivery on maternal request in the absence of any maternal or fetal indications. Potential risks of cesarean delivery on maternal request include a longer maternal hospital stay, an increased risk of respiratory problems for the infant, and greater complications in subsequent pregnancies, including uterine rupture, placental implantation problems, and the need for hysterectomy. Potential short-term benefits of planned cesarean delivery compared with a planned vaginal delivery (including women who give b...


Committee Opinion Number 444, November 2009

(Reaffirmed 2011)

Abstract: Hysterectomies are performed vaginally, abdominally, or with laparoscopic or robotic assistance. When choosing the route and method of hysterectomy, the physician should take into consideration how the procedure may be performed most safely and cost-effectively to fulfill the medical needs of the patient. Evidence demonstrates that, in general, vaginal hysterectomy is associated with better outcomes and fewer complications than laparoscopic or abdominal hysterectomy. When it is not feasible to perform a vaginal hysterectomy, the surgeon must choose between laparoscopic hysterectomy,...


Committee Opinion Number 610, October 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Surgery can present a management dilemma for gynecologists whose patients receive chronic antithrombotic therapy because the risk of hemorrhagic complications must be balanced against the risk of thromboembolic complications. Interruption of antithrombotic therapy to reduce perioperative bleeding poses a significant risk of recurrent thromboembolic events. Patients who receive chronic antithrombotic therapy should be seen at least 7 days before a planned procedure, and each woman should be included in decision making regarding risks and benefits specific to her situation. The schedu...


Committee Opinion Number 629, April 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion 526, May 2012)

ABSTRACT: Protocols and checklists have been shown to reduce patient harm through improved standardization and communication. Implementation of protocols and guidelines often is delayed because of lack of health care provider awareness or difficult clinical algorithms in medical institutions. However, the use of checklists and protocols clearly has been demonstrated to improve outcomes and their use is strongly encouraged. Checklists and protocols should be incorporated into systems as a way to help practitioners provide the best evidence-based care to their patients.


Committee Opinion Number 323, November 2005

(Replaces No. 164, December 1995, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Because of a lack of evidence from randomized trials, it remains unclear whether the benefits of routine elective coincidental appendectomy outweigh the cost and risk of morbidity associated with this prophylactic procedure. Because the risk–benefit analysis varies according to patient age and history, the decision to perform an elective coincidental appendectomy at the time of an unrelated gynecologic surgical procedure should be based on individual clinical scenarios and patient characteristics and preferences.


Committee Opinion Number 578, November 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces No. 395, January 2008)

ABSTRACT: Acknowledgment of the importance of patient autonomy and increased patient access to information, such as information on the Internet, has prompted more patient-generated requests for surgical interventions not traditionally recommended. Depending on the context, acceding to a request for a surgical option that is not traditionally recommended can be ethical. Decisions about acceding to patient requests for nontraditional surgical interventions should be based on strong support for patients’ informed preferences and values; understood in the context of an interpretive conversation; ...


Committee Opinion Number 466, September 2010

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: International humanitarian medical efforts provide essential services to patients who would not otherwise have access to specific health care services. The Committees on Ethics and Global Women's Health of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourage College Fellows and other health care professionals to participate in international humanitarian medical efforts for this reason. However, such programs present Fellows with a unique set of practical and ethical challenges. It is important for health care providers to consider these challenges before participating i...


Committee Opinion Number 674, September 2016

ABSTRACT: New or emerging surgical procedures and technologies continue to be developed at a rapid rate and must be implemented safely into clinical practice. Additional privileging may be required if substantively new technical or cognitive skills are required to implement an innovative procedure or technology. Guiding principles for privileging should include cognitive and technical assessment to ensure appropriate patient selection and performance of the new procedure. Implementation also should include pertinent institutional and staff support as needed. A dynamic process for assessment a...


Committee Opinion Number 619, January 2015

ABSTRACT: Obesity is a serious problem worldwide and particularly in the United States, and in women is associated with an increased risk of death and morbid conditions (including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obstructive sleep apnea, and hypercholesterolemia) as well as malignancies such as endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer. Adverse effects after gynecologic surgery, such as surgical site infection, venous thromboembolism, and wound complications, are more prevalent in obese women than in normal-weight women. Preoperative consultation with an anesthesiologist should be consider...


Committee Opinion Number 512, December 2011

ABSTRACT: Transgender individuals face harassment, discrimination, and rejection within our society. Lack of awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity in health care communities eventually leads to inadequate access to, underutilization of, and disparities within the health care system for this population. Although the care for these patients is often managed by a specialty team, obstetrician–gynecologists should be prepared to assist or refer transgender individuals with routine treatment and screening as well as hormonal and surgical therapies. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecolo...


Committee Opinion Number 557, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Initial evaluation of the patient with acute abnormal uterine bleeding should include a prompt assessment for signs of hypovolemia and potential hemodynamic instability. After initial assessment and stabilization, the etiologies of acute abnormal uterine bleeding should be classified using the PALM–COEIN system. Medical management should be the initial treatment for most patients, if clinically appropriate. Options include intravenous conjugated equine estrogen, multi-dose regimens of combined oral contraceptives or oral progestins, and tranexamic acid. Decisions should be based on ...


Committee Opinion Number 614, December 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Listeriosis is predominantly a foodborne illness, with sporadic and outbreak-related cases tied to consumption of food contaminated with listeria (Listeria monocytogenes). The incidence of listeriosis associated with pregnancy is approximately 13 times higher than in the general population. Maternal infection may present as a nonspecific, flu-like illness with fever, myalgia, backache, and headache, often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. However, fetal and neonatal infections can be severe, leading to fetal loss, preterm labor, neonatal sepsis, meningitis, an...


Committee Opinion Number 550, January 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida, occurs in approximately 1 in 1,500 births in the United States. Fetuses in whom myelomeningocele is diagnosed typically are delivered at term and are treated in the early neonatal period. A recent randomized controlled trial found that fetal surgery for myelomeningocele improved a number of important outcomes, but also was associated with maternal and fetal risks. Maternal–fetal surgery is a major procedure for the woman and her fetus, and it has significant implications and complications that occur acutely, postoperatively, fo...


Committee Opinion Number 340, July 2006

(Replaces No. 265, December 2001, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: In light of recent studies that further clarify the long-term risks of vaginal breech delivery, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that the decision regarding mode of delivery should depend on the experience of the health care provider. Cesarean delivery will be the preferred mode for most physicians because of the diminishing expertise in vaginal breech delivery. Planned vaginal delivery of a term singleton breech fetus may be reasonable under hospital-specific protocol guidelines for both eligibility and labor management. Before a vaginal breech del...


Committee Opinion Number 562, May 2013

(Replaces No. 355, December 2006, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Müllerian agenesis occurs in 1 out of every 4,000–10,000 females. The most common presentation of müllerian agenesis is congenital absence of the vagina, uterus, or both, which also is referred to as müllerian aplasia, Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster–Hauser syndrome, or vaginal agenesis. Satisfactory vaginal creation usually can be managed nonsurgically with successive vaginal dilation; however, there are a variety of surgical options for creation of a neovagina. Regardless of the treatment option selected, patients should be thoroughly counseled and prepared psychologically before the init...


19.
March 2001

Committee Opinion Number 253, March 2001

(Replaces Statement of Policy on Liposuction, January 1988, Reaffirmed 2015)

Cosmetic procedures (such as laser hair removal, body piercing, tattoo removal, and liposuction) are not considered gynecologic procedures and, therefore, generally are not taught in approved obstetric and gynecologic residencies. Because these are not considered gynecologic procedures, it is inappropriate for the College to establish guidelines for training. As with other surgical procedures, credentialing for cosmetic procedures should be based on education, training, experience, and demonstrated competence.


Committee Opinion Number 606, August 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Adolescents undergoing cancer treatment are at high risk of heavy menstrual bleeding, and gynecologists may be consulted either before the initiation of cancer treatment to request strategies for menstrual suppression or during an episode of severe heavy bleeding to stop the bleeding emergently. Therapy in both situations should be tailored to the patient, her cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, and her desires for contraception and fertility. Options for menstrual suppression include combined hormonal contraceptives, progestin-only therapy, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agoni...


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