Objective: To determine the feasibility and safety of laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy in the treatment of presumed stage I endometrial cancer.
Study Design: This was a prospective cohort study without randomization of 182 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for early endometrial cancer or atypical hyperplasia at the West Kent Gynaecological Oncology Centre, UK. Seventy-four had laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO), and 108 had a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Lymphadenectomy was performed in 153 patients, and lymph node sampling was performed in 2 patients. Twenty-seven patients with serous papillary endometrial cancer in addition had an omentectomy. The groups were compared for epidemiological and clinical characteristics, surgical outcomes, hospital stay, lymph node harvest, and intraoperative and postoperative complications.
Results: The patients in the laparoscopy group had less blood loss, similar number of lymph nodes removed, less need for analgesia, and shorter hospital stay but longer operative time than those treated by laparotomy. In our study, we had 4 conversions (5.4%) from laparoscopy to laparotomy. Twenty-eight (41%) patients who had laparoscopic surgery were obese (body mass index [BMI] >30 kg/m2). Postoperative complications were more common in the laparotomy group (34%) than in the laparoscopy group (6%). No major complications occurred in the laparoscopy group. Wound infection was the most common complication in laparotomy patients, and this invariably happened to obese patients (BMI >30 kg/m2). There were 6 readmissions, all from the laparotomy group.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic surgery is a safe and reliable alternative to open surgery in the management of early endometrial cancer patients, with significantly reduced hospital stay and complications, especially in those patients with an elevated BMI.
- Endometrial carcinoma
- Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH)
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