The aim of this study was to compare staging by laparoscopy and laparotomy, and to compare survival in patients with laparoscopy versus laparotomy as the first surgical access. We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with stage I ovarian cancer treated surgically between 1985 and 2001, and we included those patients with stage I epithelial cancer for whom follow-up data were available. For each patient, we recorded whether initial surgical staging was by laparoscopy or by laparotomy, the procedures done at initial staging surgery, and the outcomes. The data were evaluated by analysis of variance, Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test, logistic regression, Cox model, and log-rank test, using SPSS 7.5 and STATA. Initial staging was by laparoscopy in 34 patients, laparotomy in 114 patients, and laparoscopy converted to laparotomy in 30 patients. In the laparotomy group, patient age was significantly greater and tumor size significantly larger, as compared to the laparoscopy group. Staging after first surgery was often inadequate; most notably para-aortic lymph node dissection was done in 0% of laparoscopy patients, 18% of laparotomy patients, and 33% of conversion patients. Restaging surgery has been indicated in 88% of laparoscopy patients, 48% of laparotomy patients, and 46% of conversion ones. After a mean follow-up of 40 months, survival rates were not significantly different among the three patient groups. No deleterious influence of laparoscopy as first surgical access was detected by univariate or multivariate analysis. Despite of inaccurate radicality and staging during initial laparoscopy, this study found no harmful influence of laparoscopy as first initial access on outcomes of patients with stage I ovarian cancer.
- early ovarian cancer
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