The medical records of 45- patients with intraoperative diagnosis of borderline or low malignant potential (LMP) ovarian tumor were reviewed to identify factors affecting intraoperative management. The correlation between gross and histologic staging was examined, as was the complication rate following surgery. Patient age and presence of qualifying pathologic terms on frozen section diagnosis were the only important factors relating to performance of surgical procedure. Surgical complications were closely associated with non-conservative surgery. Thirteen of 14 (92.8%) patients with significant complications had a hysterectomy. These 14 patients had staging procedures at essentially the same rate as the entire population. Thirteen of 45 patients (28.8%) thought to have LMP by frozen section had a different diagnosis on permanent review; 5 were benign and 8 were frankly malignant, confirming the limitations of frozen section in the diagnosis of LMP ovarian tumor. Of 40 with LMP or frankly malignant tumors 5(12.5%) were upstaged based on unsuspected histopathologic findings. These results indicate the need for a standard approach to staging in patients who are suspected to have an LMP ovarian tumor and should encourage the performance of conservative surgery when appropriate.
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