Abstract. Vergote I, Amant F, Berteloot P, Van Gramberen M. Laparoscopic lower para-aortic staging lymphadenectomy in stage IB2, II, and III cervical cancer.
The presence of metastases in the para-aortic lymph nodes has important implications in the management of cervical carcinoma in many centers. In this study we investigated the role of laparoscopic lower para-aortic lymphadenectomy in patients with cervical carcinoma.
In 42 consecutive patients with stage IB2–IIIB cervical carcinoma without suspicious para-aortic lymph nodes on CT scanning, a laparoscopic lower para-aortic lymphadenectomy was performed between January 1998 and April 2001. The transperitoneal route was used in the first 21 patients, and in the remaining 21 patients the procedure was started with the left retroperitoneal approach.
The number of patients with stage IB2, II, and III was 7, 30, and 5, respectively. The median age was 51 years (range 30–81). The median weight and length were 62 kg (range 45–83) and 162 cm (range 150–175), respectively. In four patients—two operated via the transperitoneal route and the other two operated via the retroperitoneal route—the procedure was abandoned, in three patients because of adhesions following prior surgery and in one because of a camera failure. Conversion from the retropertitoneal to the transperitoneal approach was necessary because of a peritoneal tear in five of the 21 cases (all of them in the first 10 cases). Median estimated blood loss during the operation was 78 ml (range 10–300). The median hemoglobin (Hb) decrease was 1.3 g/dL (range 0–3.7). The median duration of the procedure was 64 min (range 20–115). Lymphadenectomy was stopped when one of the nodes was positive on frozen section. The number of para-aortic lymph nodes removed ranged from one to 15 (median 6). In seven (18%) of the 38 patients with successful lymphadenectomy, para-aortic metastases were observed (stage IB2, 1/6; stage II, 5/28 and stage III, 1/4). The only major complication was the development of a retroperitoneal hematoma on the first postoperative day in one patient (Hb fall of 3.7 g/dL). Patients with para-aortic lymph node metastases were treated with extended field para-aortic radiotherapy. None of these developed bowel obstruction. The median follow-up was 15 months (range 1–40 months). Actuarial 1-year crude survival was 88% and 33%, respectively, for patients with negative and positive para-aortic nodes.
Laparoscopic para-aortic staging in cervical carcinoma is feasible with low morbidity. Eighteen percent of the patients, without suspicion of para-aortic metastases on CT, proved to have metastases in the lower para-aortic region.
- cervical neoplasms
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