Treatment of some cancers diagnosed at an early stage with expectation of prolonged survival has permitted the consideration of salvaging the reproductive and hormonal function of premenopausal female patients. When radiation to the pelvic area is part of treatment, this will almost always result in ovarian failure. To protect the ovaries, an oophoropexy may be performed, which involves moving the ovaries away from the radiation field. This procedure may be performed via laparoscopy. Some women undergoing laparoscopic radical hysterectomy may also be candidates for laparoscopic transposition. Because failure rates are still reported to be high, we developed a novel technique to mobilize the adnexa, which we present in this paper and attached movie.
After separating the adnexa from the uterus and developing the infundibulopelvic (IP) ligament, a retroperitoneal tunnel is developed from the pelvis to the transposition opening laterally. The adnexa are moved through this tunnel, avoiding torsion of the vessels, and are brought through the opening back into the peritoneum. The adnexa are now fixed securely to the posterolateral abdominal wall with nonabsorbable sutures.
Several issues permit better results using this technique. The IP ligament remains retroperitoneal and itself is outside the field of radiation. There is no kinking of the ovarian blood supply on the peritoneal fold. The location of the transposition is way above the field of radiation, preventing scatter injury. Even if one or both of the sutures fail, placement of the ovary will not change because of the peritoneum it has been brought through. This and the final location of the IP ligament retroperitoneally may enforce the ovary to it outside of the radiation field and prevent possible migration of the ovary back to the pelvis. This technique has advantages, which may offer the ovaries a better chance to resume hormonal function.