Article Text

Download PDFPDF
A systematic nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy technique in invasive cervical cancer for preserving postsurgical bladder function
  1. N. Sakuragi*,
  2. Y. Todo*,
  3. M. Kudo*,
  4. R. Yamamoto* and
  5. T. Sato
  1. * Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan
  2. Department of Functional Anatomy, Tokyo Medical and Dental University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Noriaki Sakuragi, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Kita-15, Nishi-7, Kita-Ku, Sappoo 060-8638, Japan. Email: sakuragi{at}


The objective of this study is to describe a technique for preserving the autonomic nerve systematically, including the hypogastric nerves, pelvic splanchnic nerves, and pelvic plexus and its vesical branches, based on anatomic considerations for the autonomic nerves innervating the urinary bladder, in radical hysterectomies and to assess postsurgical bladder function. A nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy was carried out on 27 consecutive patients with uterine cervical cancer treated between 2000 and 2002. The FIGO stages of the disease consisted of 10 stage Ib1, 6 stage Ib2, 3 stage IIa, and 8 stage IIb. The nerve-sparing procedure was successfully completed in 22 of the 27 patients (81.5%) in the study. At 1 year after the operation, bladder symptoms were significantly improved in the nerve-sparing group compared to the non–nerve-sparing group. Urinary incontinence and abnormal (diminished) bladder sensation were observed in three of the five patients (two patients had both symptoms), for whom the nerve-sparing procedure could not be performed, but none of the 22 patients for whom the nerve-sparing procedure was performed had incontinence, and only two patients had abnormal (increased) bladder sensation (P = 0.0034 for incontinence and P = 0.030 for abnormal bladder sensation). The patients' survival was not adversely affected by the nerve-sparing procedure. Although it is still preliminary, the surgical technique described in this report is thought to be effective for preserving bladder function, and thus, the quality of life could be improved for patients with cervical cancer who are treated with a radical hysterectomy. For further evaluation of the efficacy of nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy, a prospective randomized trial needs to be performed.

  • autonomic nerve
  • bladder function
  • cervical cancer
  • nerve sparing
  • quality of life (QOL)
  • radical hysterectomy

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.