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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 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 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 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...


Committee Opinion Number 685, January 2017

ABSTRACT: Gender nonconforming youth are an underserved population who obstetrician–gynecologists are seeing increasingly in their practices. Currently, there are large gaps in training, knowledge, and comfort with transgender patients among obstetrician–gynecologists. The purpose of this document is to review current recommendations that apply to an obstetrician–gynecologist. It is important for obstetrician–gynecologists to be aware of the social and mental health risks for the transgender population. Consensus guidelines support initiating medical therapy after an adolescent has an establi...


Committee Opinion Number 605, July 2014

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Primary ovarian insufficiency is the depletion or dysfunction of ovarian follicles with cessation of menses before age 40 years. There is no consensus on criteria to identify primary ovarian insufficiency in adolescents, and delay in diagnosis is common. Health care providers who make this clinical diagnosis should be mindful of the sensitive nature of this medical condition. Patients and their families should be counseled on the effect of the patient’s condition on future fertility, on the risk of comorbidities associated with primary ovarian insufficiency, and on the condition’s p...


Committee Opinion Number 686, January 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 662, May 2016)

ABSTRACT: The obstetrician–gynecologist may receive requests from adolescents and their families for advice, surgery, or referral for conditions of the breast or vulva to improve appearance and function. Appropriate counseling and guidance of adolescents with these concerns require a comprehensive and thoughtful approach, special knowledge of normal physical and psychosocial growth and development, and assessment of the physical maturity and emotional readiness of the patient. Individuals should be screened for body dysmorphic disorder. If the obstetrician–gynecologist suspects an adolescent ...


Committee Opinion Number 728, January 2018

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 562, May 2013)

ABSTRACT: Müllerian agenesis, also referred to as müllerian aplasia, Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, or vaginal agenesis, has an incidence of 1 per 4,500–5,000 females. Müllerian agenesis is caused by embryologic underdevelopment of the müllerian duct, with resultant agenesis or atresia of the vagina, uterus, or both. Patients with müllerian agenesis usually are identified when they are evaluated for primary amenorrhea with otherwise typical growth and pubertal development. The most important steps in the effective management of müllerian agenesis are correct diagnosis of the underly...


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 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 559, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2017)

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 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 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 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 696, April 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 474, February 2011)

ABSTRACT: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on Obstetric Practice acknowledges that the issue of nonobstetric surgery during pregnancy is an important concern for physicians who care for women. It is important for a physician to obtain an obstetric consultation before performing nonobstetric surgery and some invasive procedures (eg, cardiac catheterization or colonoscopy) because obstetricians are uniquely qualified to discuss aspects of maternal physiology and anatomy that may affect intraoperative maternal–fetal well-being. Ultimately, each case warrants a t...


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 671, September 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 324, November 2005)

ABSTRACT: Over the past decades, the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has increased dramatically worldwide and has made pregnancy possible for many infertile couples. Although the perinatal risks that may be associated with ART and ovulation induction are much higher in multifetal gestations, even singletons achieved with ART and ovulation induction may be at higher risk than singletons from naturally occurring pregnancies. However, it remains unclear to what extent these associations might be related to the underlying cause(s) of infertility. Before initiating ART or ovulation i...


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 234, May 2000

(Replaces No. 219, August 1999, Reaffirmed 2017)

Prevention of transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from mother to fetus or newborn (vertical transmission) is a major goal in the care of pregnant women infected with HIV. An important advance in this regard was the demonstration that treatment of the mother with zidovudine (ZDV) during pregnancy and labor and of the neonate for the first 6 weeks after birth could reduce the transmission rate from 25% to 8% (1). Continuing research into vertical transmission of HIV suggests that a substantial number of cases occur as the result of fetal exposure to the virus during labor a...


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...


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