Impact of frailty in benign gynecologic surgery: a systematic review

Jacqueline Y. Kikuchi, Katerina Hoyt, Andrea I. Nomura, Sindhura Vallabhaneni, Jaime Blanck, Danielle Patterson, Chi Chiung Grace Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction and hypothesis: Frailty has been associated with increased risks of perioperative complications. This systematic review explores the associations between preoperative frailty and perioperative complications in benign gynecologic surgery. Methods: A comprehensive, systematic literature search was conducted using the PubMed interface for Medline, Embase, and Scopus databases through August 12, 2020. Articles were included if they described the utilization of frailty assessment tools in benign gynecologic patients in the pre- or perioperative setting. Study quality and evidence were evaluated by the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool in Non-Randomized Studies and Grading of Recommendations, Assessments, Development, and Evaluations criteria. Results: One thousand one hundred twenty unique citations were identified, and five studies assessing frailty and perioperative outcomes were included. Three retrospective cohort studies utilized the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database to assess the impact of frailty on perioperative outcomes in hysterectomies and pelvic organ prolapse repair procedures. One retrospective cohort study utilized a California database to assess frailty in prolapse repair surgeries. One cross-sectional study assessed frailty in new urogynecology patient visits. Four of these studies found that preoperative frailty is associated with an increased risk of perioperative complications. Overall, the evidence from the included studies is of low quality and at moderate to critical risk of bias. Conclusions: There are few studies assessing the impact of frailty on perioperative complications in benign gynecologic surgery. This review demonstrates that preoperative frailty is significantly associated with adverse perioperative outcomes, but additional studies are needed to further explore this association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2921-2935
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Geriatric assessment
  • Hysterectomy
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Perioperative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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