SMFM Consult Series|Articles in Press

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Consult Series #65: Transabdominal cerclage

Published:February 27, 2023DOI:
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      Cerclage is the mainstay of treatment for cervical insufficiency. While transabdominal cerclage (TAC) may have advantages over transvaginal cerclage, it is associated with increased morbidity and the need for cesarean delivery. In this consult, we review the current literature on the benefits and risks of TAC and provide recommendations based on the available evidence. The following are Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recommendations: (1) We recommend that TAC be offered to patients with a previous placement of transvaginal cerclage (history or ultrasound indicated) and subsequent singleton delivery before 28 weeks of gestation. (GRADE 1B); (2) We recommend maternal-fetal medicine consultation for counseling patients who may be candidates for TAC and those who have undergone TAC (Best Practice); (3) We suggest that both laparoscopic and open TAC are acceptable and the decision of approach may depend on gestational age, technical feasibility, available resources, and expertise (GRADE 2B); (4) We suggest that TAC can be performed preconceptionally or in the first trimester with similar fetal outcomes. If a patient with an indication for TAC presents after the first trimester, TAC can still be considered before 22 weeks (GRADE 2C); (5) We recommend that routine transvaginal cervical length screening not be performed for patients with transabdominal cerclage in situ (GRADE 1C); (6) We suggest that for individuals at risk of recurrent spontaneous preterm birth, including those with TAC in situ, a risk/benefit discussion of supplemental progesterone be undertaken with shared decision-making (GRADE 2C); (7) We suggest that pregnancy loss be managed with dilation and curettage or evacuation with transabdominal cerclage in situ or via usual obstetric management after laparoscopic removal of transabdominal cerclage, depending on gestational age and resources available (GRADE 2C); (8) We suggest cesarean delivery between 37 0/7 to 39 0/7 weeks for patients with transabdominal cerclage in situ (GRADE 2C).

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