Objectives Pelvic side wall infiltration by gynecological malignancies has been considered for a long time an absolute contraindication to curative resection. The development of the laterally extended endopelvic resection (LEER) has challenged this surgical paradigm. Although the LEER has been standardized in open surgery, only small studies have been published about its endoscopic feasibility. The objective of this study is to analyze the safety of LEER in patients with gynecological malignancies involving the pelvic side wall.
Methods We retrospectively evaluated a consecutive series of patients who underwent a laparoscopically modified LEER between July 2014 and November 2018. This indicated gynecological tumors involving the pelvic sidewall and surgeries were conducted in two Italian institutions. All patients underwent pre-operative CT scan or PET to evaluate for distant metastases. Patients without suspicioun of distant metastasis underwent pelvic MRI and examination under anesthesia to establish the resectability of the disease and concomitant diagnostic laparoscopy to exclude intraperitoneal dissemination. All women with disease-free interval <6 months, and/or performance status >2 ECOG were excluded. Type of resection was defined based on the status of the pathologic margins: R0, microscopically negative (free margin <5 mm); R1, microscopically positive; and R2, macroscopically (grossly) positive. Disease-free survival was calculated from the date of primary surgery to the time of recurrence. Overall survival was defined as the time from primary surgery to death.
Results Overall, 39 patients underwent a laparoscopic LEER and 18 (46.2%) patients were eligible for a laparoscopic approach. Laparoscopic LEER was performed as primary treatment for newly diagnosed tumors in eight patients (44.4%), and for recurrences in the other 10 patients (55.6%). No laparotomic conversions were registered. R0 resection was achieved with negative margins in all patients. The median operative time was 415 min (range, 285–615), median estimated blood loss was 285 mL (range, 100–600), and the median length of hospital stay was 10 days (range; 4–22). Only four patients (22.2%) needed blood intraoperative transfusion. In seven patients (38.9%), post-operative admission to intensive care unit was required. There were three (16.7%) intraoperative complications, all managed laparoscopically. In total there were six (33.3%) major postoperative complications: three patients (16.7%) experienced moderate hydronephrosis with normal renal function, which required temporary placement of nephrostomy; one patient (5.6%) had permanent urinary retention; and two patients (11.1%) had a reoperation, one for post-operative hemoperitoneum and another for complete vaginal cuff dehiscence.
Discussion Laparoscopic LEER can be safely performed by experienced laparoscopic surgeons, in carefully selected patients with gynecological malignancies involving the lateral pelvic side wall, even for those in which a bladder and rectum sparing surgery appears possible. Further larger prospective trials are needed to evaluate the oncological and the long-term functional outcomes.
- surgical oncology
- genital neoplasms, female
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