Anatomic vascular considerations in uterine artery ligation at its origin during laparoscopic hysterectomies

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Pelvic pathology such as fibroids, endometriosis, adhesions from previous pelvic surgeries, or ovarian remnants can distort anatomy and pose technical challenges during laparoscopic hysterectomies. Retroperitoneal dissection to ligate the uterine artery at its vascular origin can circumvent these obstacles, resulting in a safer procedure. However, detailed anatomic knowledge of the course of the uterine artery and understanding of vascular variations are essential for optimal dissection. We frequently encounter a C-shaped uterine artery variation during retroperitoneal dissection. We describe the key steps in identification and isolation of this variant, approaching the uterine artery origin either from the pararectal space or by utilizing the medial umbilical ligament coursing through the paravesical space. We also review other known uterine artery configurations. These techniques allow for safe completion of complex laparoscopic hysterectomies performed for various gynecologic diseases.

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