Reproductive outcomes after laparoscopic resection of symptomatic niches in uterine cesarean scars: Long-term follow-up on the prospective LAPNICHE study

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Introduction: After incomplete healing of the uterine cesarean section scar, a niche can be observed; 24% of the women develop large niches with a residual myometrial thickness <3 mm. In these cases a laparoscopic resection is possible. The effect of this new treatment on fertility outcome is not known yet. This paper describes reproductive outcomes 2 years after a laparoscopic niche resection and compares women with or without secondary infertility at baseline. Material and methods: A prospective cohort study was performed, with consecutive inclusion of women between 2011 and 2019. Women with a niche in the uterine cesarean scar, with a residual myometrial thickness of <3 mm and with a desire to become pregnant, were scheduled to undergo a laparoscopic niche resection because of one or more of the following problems (1) postmenstrual spotting; (2) midcycle intrauterine fluid accumulation diagnosed during the fertility workup or (3) difficulties with a previous embryo transfer and preferring a surgical therapy. The study is registered in the ISRCTN register (ref. no. ISRCTN02271575) on April 23, 2013. Results: There were 133 (62%) women included with a desire to become pregnant, 88 with secondary infertility. In all, 83 had an ongoing pregnancy at the 2-year follow-up. The ongoing pregnancy rate in patients with previous fertility problems was 60.2% compared with 66.7% in patients without infertility (odds ratio [OR] 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.32–1.7). The OR for live births was 0.57 (95% CI 0.02–1.2). Overall, 8.3% of the pregnancies resulted in miscarriages by the 2-year follow-up. Conclusions: The reproductive outcomes in women with and without previous fertility problems undergoing resection of a large niche are very promising and quite comparable in both groups. These results suggest, but do not prove, a beneficial effect of this therapy for these indications. The results support the design of future randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effect of niche resection vs expectant management to assess its additional value in women with or without fertility problems who desire pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1643-1652
Number of pages10
JournalActa obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number12
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • cesarean scar
  • laparoscopic resection niche
  • niche
  • postmenstrual spotting
  • reproductive outcomes

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