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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 664, June 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 321, November 2005)

ABSTRACT: One of the most challenging scenarios in obstetric care occurs when a pregnant patient refuses recommended medical treatment that aims to support her well-being, her fetus’s well-being, or both. In such circumstances, the obstetrician–gynecologist’s ethical obligation to safeguard the pregnant woman’s autonomy may conflict with the ethical desire to optimize the health of the fetus. Forced compliance—the alternative to respecting a patient’s refusal of treatment—raises profoundly important issues about patient rights, respect for autonomy, violations of bodily integrity, power diffe...


Committee Opinion Number 464, September 2010

(Replaces No. 328, February 2006, Reaffirmed 2014)

ABSTRACT: Ensuring patient safety in the operating room begins before the patient enters the operative suite and includes attention to all applicable types of preventable medical errors (including, for example, medication errors), but surgical errors are unique to this environment. Steps to prevent wrong-site, wrong-person, wrong-procedure errors, or retained foreign objects have been recommended, starting with structured communication between the patient, the surgeon(s), and other members of the health care team. Prevention of surgical errors requires the attention of all personnel involved ...


Committee Opinion Number 629, April 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion 526, May 2012) (Reaffirmed 2017)

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 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 759, November 2018

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 466, September 2010)

ABSTRACT: Global surgical care programs present obstetrician–gynecologists with important opportunities to address disparities in women’s health and health care worldwide. However, these programs also present a unique set of practical and ethical challenges. Obstetrician–gynecologists are encouraged to participate in surgical care efforts abroad while taking the necessary steps to ensure that their patients can make informed decisions and receive benefit from and are not harmed by their surgical care. In this document, the Committee on Ethics highlights some of the ethical issues that may ari...


Committee Opinion Number 750, September 2018

ABSTRACT: Gynecologic surgery is very common: hysterectomy alone is one of the most frequently performed operating room procedures each year. It is well known that surgical stress induces a catabolic state that leads to increased cardiac demand, relative tissue hypoxia, increased insulin resistance, impaired coagulation profiles, and altered pulmonary and gastrointestinal function. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) pathways were developed with the goal of maintaining normal physiology in the perioperative period, thus optimizing patient outcomes without increasing postoperative complicat...


Committee Opinion Number 701, June 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 444, November 2009)

ABSTRACT: Hysterectomy is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the United States. Selection of the route of hysterectomy for benign causes can be influenced by the size and shape of the vagina and uterus; accessibility to the uterus; extent of extrauterine disease; the need for concurrent procedures; surgeon training and experience; average case volume; available hospital technology, devices, and support; whether the case is emergent or scheduled; and preference of the informed patient. Vaginal and laparoscopic procedures are considered “minimally invasive” surgical app...


Committee Opinion Number 323, November 2005

(Replaces No. 164, December 1995) Reaffirmed 2017

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 619, January 2015

(Reaffirmed 2017)

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 278, November 2002

Reaffirmed 2017

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 537, October 2012

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: The reprocessing and reuse of single-use instruments has become increasingly common. Although there are limited data on reprocessed single-use devices, existing studies have found a significant rate of physical defects, performance issues, or improper decontamination. There are currently no data in the medical literature of studies evaluating the cost-effectiveness of reprocessed single-use devices in gynecologic surgery. The use of a reprocessed single-use device provides no direct benefit to an individual patient or her physician. It is the operating surgeon’s ethical responsibili...


Committee Opinion Number 610, October 2014

(Reaffirmed 2017)

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 628, March 2015

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: The field of robotic surgery has developed rapidly, and its use for gynecologic conditions has grown exponentially. Surgeons should be skilled at abdominal and laparoscopic approaches for a specific procedure before undertaking robotic approaches. Surgeon training, competency guidelines, and quality metrics should be developed at the institutional level. Robot-assisted cases should be appropriately selected based on the available data and expert opinion. As with any surgical procedure, repetition drives competency. Ongoing quality assurance is essential to ensure appropriate use of ...


Committee Opinion Number 620, January 2015

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate out of all types of gynecologic cancer and is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Current attempts at screening for ovarian cancer have been unsuccessful and are associated with false-positive test results that lead to unnecessary surgery and surgical complications. Prophylactic salpingectomy may offer clinicians the opportunity to prevent ovarian cancer in their patients. Randomized controlled trials are needed to support the validity of this approach to reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer. The approach to hysterect...


Committee Opinion Number 557, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2017)

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 694, April 2017

ABSTRACT: This document focuses on the management of complications related to mesh used to correct stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. Persistent vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, or recurrent urinary tract infections after mesh placement should prompt an examination and possible further evaluation for exposure or erosion. A careful history and physical examination is essential in the diagnosis of mesh and graft complications. A clear understanding of the location and extent of mesh placement, as well as the patient’s symptoms and therapy goals, are necessary to plan trea...


Committee Opinion Number 378, September 2007

Reaffirmed 2017

ABSTRACT: So-called "vaginal rejuvenation," "designer vaginoplasty," "revirgination," and "G-spot amplification" are vaginal surgical procedures being offered by some practitioners. These procedures are not medically indicated, and the safety and effectiveness of these procedures have not been documented. Clinicians who receive requests from patients for such procedures should discuss with the patient the reason for her request and perform an evaluation for any physical signs or symptoms that may indicate the need for surgical intervention. Women should be informed about the lack of data supp...


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March 2001

Committee Opinion Number 253, March 2001

(Replaces Statement of Policy on Liposuction, January 1988, Reaffirmed 2017)

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 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.


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