Journal of Minimal Access Surgery

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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 265--267

Laparoscopic treatment of postpartum pre-sacral haematoma

Rahul Gupta1, Pradip Pokharia2, Ujjwal Daspal3, Houssem Ammar4,  
1 Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Synergy Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Radiology, Synergy Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
3 Department of Anaesthesia, Synergy Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
4 Department of Digestive Surgery, Sahloul Hospital, University of Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rahul Gupta
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Synergy Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun - 248 001, Uttarakhand


Postpartum retroperitoneal or pelvic haematomas are rare after vaginal delivery. The clinical presentation can vary from being an incidental finding to the development of life-threatening bleeding. Due to their rarity, there are no established guidelines for the management of these postpartum haematomas. The reported treatments vary from watchful observation to emergent laparotomy. We report a case of postpartum pre-sacral haematoma after uneventful vaginal delivery managed successfully by laparoscopic drainage after the failure of conservative treatment.

How to cite this article:
Gupta R, Pokharia P, Daspal U, Ammar H. Laparoscopic treatment of postpartum pre-sacral haematoma.J Min Access Surg 2021;17:265-267

How to cite this URL:
Gupta R, Pokharia P, Daspal U, Ammar H. Laparoscopic treatment of postpartum pre-sacral haematoma. J Min Access Surg [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 15 ];17:265-267
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Full Text


Pelvic haematomas are commonly encountered in clinical practice secondary to trauma, iatrogenic injuries or anticoagulation therapy. However, they can rarely occur in patients after vaginal delivery. The symptoms can vary from pelvic pain or fullness to the development of overt haemodynamic instability.[1] Early detection and timely treatment of the haematoma is important especially in patients with haemodynamic instability. We present an unusual case of puerperal pre-sacral haematoma treated by laparoscopy after failed conservative treatment.

 Case Report

A 26-year-old female developed urinary retention 2 days following uncomplicated full-term vaginal delivery. The treating obstetrician noticed a retro-rectal swelling on per-rectal examination. On pelvic ultrasound, a predominantly hypoechoic lesion was found in the pre-sacral space measuring 8.2 cm × 7 cm × 8.4 cm with no evidence of septation or calcification [Figure 1]. The patient was haemodynamically stable with no significant fall in haemoglobin. Hence, the patient was treated conservatively. Repeat pelvic ultrasound performed after 3 days revealed reduction in the size of the haematoma to 7 cm × 5.7 cm × 8.7 cm. Hence, the patient was discharged and asked to maintain close follow-up. Repeat pelvic ultrasound after 1 month of vaginal delivery revealed no change in the size of the haematoma. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen and pelvis showed a well-defined, round-to-oval, heterogeneous lesion in the pre-sacral space measuring 7.9 cm × 9.3 cm × 8.9 cm with an enhancing wall [Figure 1]. The lesion was displacing the rectum anteriorly. There was no obvious communication with the bowel lumen. In view of the CT findings showing no signs of resolution, the plan for laparoscopic drainage of the haematoma was made.{Figure 1}

Intraoperatively, the rectum was mobilised anteriorly and the pre-sacral space was entered. After gradual caudal dissection, the haematoma was identified [Figure 1]. The lesion was confirmed by needle aspiration and opened. About 300 ml of altered blood and blood clots were evacuated and the cavity was cleaned with warm normal saline. The postoperative course was uneventful with hospital stay of 4 days.


Puerperal retroperitoneal haematomas after vaginal delivery are rare [Table 1].[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] They occur due to the injury to the branches of internal iliac artery or pre-sacral venous plexus during the labour.[2] The risk factors for postpartum haemorrhage such as multiparity, preeclampsia and prolonged second stage of labour can contribute to the development of haematoma. In the index case, none of these risk factors were present. The most common complaints are abdominal pain, per-vaginal or per-rectal bleeding and perineal swelling. In the current case, the patient had an unusual presentation of urinary retention. The clinical signs depend on the extent of bleeding. In mild cases, the patient may not have any signs. In severe cases, the patients can develop hypotension and shock.{Table 1}

Ultrasonography can detect large retroperitoneal or pelvic haematomas, as seen in the present case. However, the haematoma can mimic a tumour on ultrasound. Moreover, small haematomas can be missed on ultrasound. In such cases, CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be helpful in detecting the haematomas, differentiating them from other lesions and planning the treatment. On CT, haematomas appear as heterogeneous, hyperdense lesions, similar to the present case.[2] On MRI, recent haematomas appear hypointense on T1-weighted and T2-weighted images, whereas old haematomas (>2 weeks) are hyperintense with low signal rim on T1-weighted and T2-weighted images.[1]

Treatment of postpartum pelvic haematoma depends on the condition of the patient and the extent of the haematoma. Patients with small haematomas and those with haemodynamic stability can be managed non-operatively.[3] Most of the haematomas resolve without any sequelae. Surgical intervention is required in patients with haemodynamic instability, significant fall in haemoglobin not responding to blood transfusion and failure of conservative treatment [Table 1]. Surgical drainage of haematoma and haemostasis can be achieved by laparotomy, perineal approach and laparoscopy, depending on the location of the haematoma.[1],[4],[5] Along with haematoma evacuation, patients may require hysterectomy or internal ligation artery ligation, if required.[4],[5] In selected cases with stable haemodynamics, transarterial embolisation of the bleeding vessels can be performed to avoid surgery as seen in patients with postpartum haemorrhage or paravaginal haematoma. The index case is the first reported case of laparoscopic treatment of postpartum pre-sacral haematoma.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient has given her consent for her images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patient understands that her name and initial will not be published, and due efforts will be made to conceal identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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