This study describes the surgical technique and intra- and postoperative complications associated with the use of a radiofrequency bipolar coagulator in a series of 18 Piver type III-IV radical hysterectomies performed in cervical cancer patients. Preliminary vessel-by-vessel dissection of the lateral parametria was possible in 17 out of 18 (94%) cases, and a direct application of a radiofrequency bipolar coagulation instrument was performed to coagulate the posterior and anterior parametrial tissues in all cases. We were able to easily coagulate isolated vessels up to 5 mm of maximal diameter. In no case were clamps or hemoclips necessary to complete hemostasis. We did not observe any parametrial vessel damage or heat-related injury of the surrounding normal tissue. The median size of the parametria removed was 44 mm (range 31–58) and nodes were detected in 15 cases (83%). Median operative time and estimated blood loss for the whole procedure including systematic pelvic and aortic lymphadenectomy was 250 min (range 200–410) and 550 ml (range 400–2500), respectively. Median follow-up time was 9 months (range 5–13). No complications specifically related to the use of radiofrequency coagulation were found. In conclusion the radio-frequency coagulation with this instrument appears to be a safe technique that is particularly useful in reducing blood loss and operative time without affecting radicality in patients undergoing radical hysterectomy.
- radical hysterectomy
- radiofrequency coagulation
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