To report on outcomes following the use of prophylactic internal iliac artery occlusion balloons in patients with abnormal placental implantation.
A retrospective analysis was undertaken of patients with abnormal placental implantation who underwent prophylactic iliac balloon placement prior to delivery in a University Maternity Hospital. Various clinical and technical factors were analysed, including technical success of balloon placement, blood loss and number of blood units transfused, duration of surgery, length of stay, hysterectomy rates, complications related to the balloon insertion, foetal pH and infant Apgar scores.
Twenty-two patients with placenta accreta or a variant thereof underwent caesarean section after first undergoing prophylactic placement of bilateral internal artery balloons. Average follow-up duration was 2.08 years. The average gestational age was 37 weeks 6 days, and the mean gravidity was 2.8. The mean number of previous caesarean sections was 2.4, while the mean maternal age was 35 years. The mean intraoperative blood loss was 1.4 L, and the mean number of blood units transfused was 2. Mean duration of surgery was 90 min, mean total length of hospital stay 7.5 days, while the mean duration of ICU/HDU stay was 1.2 days. The balloons were inflated in 60% of cases and two patients (2/22-9%) underwent subsequent hysterectomy. There were no major maternal complications due to the procedure.
Prophylactic placement of arterial balloons prior to caesarean section in patients with placenta accreta is well tolerated and leads to satisfactory maternal and foetal outcomes with minimal complications.