The Outcome of Laparoscopic Radical Hysterectomy and Lymphadenectomy for Cervical Cancer: A Prospective Analysis of 295 Patients
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Cervical carcinoma is likely to become one of the most important indications for laparoscopic radical surgery. The laparoscopic technique combines the benefits of a minimally invasive approach with established surgical principles. In our institution, the laparoscopic radical hysterectomy and transperitoneal approach for lymphadenectomy have become the standard techniques for invasive cervical cancer. We report the indications, techniques, results, and oncological outcome in a single center experience.
Between February 2001 and June 2007 we performed laparoscopic radical hysterectomies for cervical cancer in 295 patients. Their initial techniques, operation data, complications, postoperative course, oncological outcome, and survival were evaluated.
Out of 295 procedures, 290 were successful. Para-aortic lymphadenectomy was performed in 156 patients (52.9%), and pelvic lymphadenectomy was performed in all 295 patients. The median blood loss was 230 mL (range, 50–1200 mL). The mean operation time was 162 min (range, 110–350), which included the learning curves of 3 surgeons. In 5 cases (1.7%), conversion to open surgery was necessary due to bleeding (3 cases), bowel injury (1 case), and hypercapnia (1 case). Other major intraoperative injuries occurred in 12 patients (4.1%). Positive lymph nodes were detected in 80 cases (27.1%), lymphovascular space invasion in 54 cases (18.3%), and surgical margins were negative for tumor in all patients. The mean hospital stay was 10.3 days. Postoperative complications occurred in 10.8% patients, ureterovaginal fistula in 5 cases, vesicovaginal fistula in 4, ureterostenosis in 3 cases, deep venous thrombosis in 9 cases, lymphocyst in 4 cases, lymphedema in 5 cases, and 1 case with trocar insertion site metastasis. Other medical problems included 47 cases (15.9%) of bladder dysfunction and 62 cases (21.0%) of rectum dysfunction or constipation. The median follow-up was 36.45 months (range, 8–76 months). Recurrences or metastasis occurred in 48 patients (16.3%). Of these patients, 43 (14.6%) have died of their disease, and 5 (1.7%) are alive with disease. The overall disease-free survival was 95.2% for Ia, 96.2% for Ib, 84.5% for IIa, 79.4% for IIb, 66.7% for IIIa, and 60.0% for IIIb.
Laparoscopic radical hysterectomy is a routine, effective treatment for patients with Ia2–IIb cervical carcinoma. With more experience it is envisaged that IIb stage patients can be managed safely offering all the benefits of minimal surgery to the patients. Although no long-term follow-up is available, our follow-up data for up to 76 months confirm the effectiveness of laparoscopic radical hysterectomy in terms of surgical principles and oncological outcome.
KeywordsCervical cancer Laparoscopy Radical hysterectomy
This study was supported by Southwest Hospital Clinical Creative Grant to Dr. Liang (SWH2005010B). We would like to acknowledge Dr. Sooranna, PhD, Lecturer, Division of Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive Biology and Anaesthetics, University College London for reviewing and editing the manuscript.
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