Background: Radical hysterectomy has been the treatment of choice for early-stage cervical cancer. Since its introduction in oncology, modifications to the original technique were made to enhance feasibility, improve cure rate, and decrease postoperative complications. Among these are the identification and preservation of pelvic autonomic nerves, known as the nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy (RH). This retrospective study was conducted to compare the nerve-sparing with the conventional RH in terms of feasibility and safety, including bladder dysfunction and perioperative and postoperative complications and morbidities.
Methods: Patients with biopsy-proven early-stage cervical carcinoma, cervical carcinoma with central tumor recurrence or persistence after primary radiotherapy, and endometrial carcinoma with cervical involvement treated with RH with or without nerve-sparing technique were included. The perioperative and postoperative complications and bladder function of these patients were analyzed.
Results: Ninety-seven patients with early-stage cervical cancer and 24 patients with clinical stage II endometrial cancer underwent RH with or without nerve-sparing technique in a nonrandomized fashion. There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 procedures in terms of duration of surgery, intraoperative blood loss, duration of hospitalization, and morbidity. Patients who underwent the nerve-sparing approach had a statistically significant earlier return of bladder function, with a mean of 9.4 days for the cervical cancer cases (vs 21 days in the non-nerve-sparing group) and a mean of 8.5 days for the endometrial cancer cases (vs 22.6 days in the non-nerve-sparing group).
Conclusions: The technique of sparing the pelvic autonomic nerves during RH for early-stage cervical cancer and clinical stage II endometrial cancer is comparable to the conventional method in terms of perioperative complications and morbidity, but is more favorable in terms of return of bladder function.
- Radical hysterectomy
- Nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy
- Bladder dysfunction
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Presented (oral and poster presentations) in the IGCS 12th Biennial Meeting, Bangkok, Thailand.