Objective Radical trachelectomy is a valid alternative to radical hysterectomy in women with a desire to retain their fertility. Data regarding the oncological outcomes of radical trachelectomy are comparable with those of radical hysterectomy but information regarding urinary and sexual function is limited. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate and compare quality of life, urinary and bowel symptoms, and sexual dysfunction between patients who underwent laparoscopic assisted vaginal radical trachelectomy versus radical hysterectomy for early-stage cervical cancer.
Methods Patients who underwent laparoscopic assisted vaginal radical trachelectomy or radical hysterectomy along with sentinel or systemic pelvic lymphadenectomy were included between May 2015 and January 2017. Patients were asked to complete a validated questionnaire (German pelvic symptom questionnaire) on bladder, bowel, prolapse, and sexual function, and total pelvic score, at least 48 hours before surgery and 6 months after surgery.
Results A total of 51 patients were included. Of these, 26 patients (50.9%) underwent laparoscopic assisted vaginal radical trachelectomy and 25 (49.1%) underwent radical hysterectomy. No patient was converted to laparotomy. The majority of patients (76%) were diagnosed with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO 2018) stage 1B1 disease, with squamous cell carcinoma (54%) and grade II tumors (52%). Four patients (7.8 %) experienced perioperative complications (two grade II and two grade III complications according to the Clavien–Dindo classification). In the preoperative evaluation, the median scores for the four items of the questionnaire (bladder, bowel, prolapse, and sexual items) and total pelvic score were comparable between the two groups. The mean scores for radical hysterectomy and radical trachelectomy at the beginning of the study for bladder, bowel, prolapse, and sexual function were 0.93 versus 0.71, 0.71 versus 1.01, 0.12 versus 0.1, and 1.06 versus 1.0, respectively. On preoperative testing, the median scores for all four items of the questionnaire (pbladder=0.821, pbowel=0.126, pprolapse=0.449, psexual=0.965) and the total pelvic score (p=0.756) were comparable between the two groups. The radical hysterectomy group had worse total pelvic scores at the 6 month postoperative survey compared with baseline (p=0.03). There was no difference in bladder (p=0.07) or bowel symptoms (p=0.07) in the radical hysterectomy group comparing baseline with the 6 month assessment. Women undergoing radical hysterectomy experienced more urinary morbidity than women undergoing vaginal trachelectomy at 6 weeks (p=0.025). However, the mean bladder and pelvic scores in the 6 month control were comparable between patients who had and those who had not experienced urinary morbidity (pbladder=0.127, ptotal pelvic score=0.480).
Conclusion Patients undergoing laparoscopic assisted vaginal radical trachelectomy had similar pelvic scores in both the preoperative and postoperative periods. However, patients undergoing radical hysterectomy showed worse total pelvic scores on the postoperative assessment compared with the baseline evaluation. Urinary dysfunction in the early postoperative phase was more common in the radical hysterectomy group than in trachelectomy group.
- cervical cancer
- radical trachelectomy
- radical hysterectomy
- quality of life
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Contributors NUD designed the study, collected the data, wrote the manuscript, and revised the manuscript intellectually. CK, TP, and GF designed the study and revised the manuscript intellectually. AP and XL collected the data and revised the manuscript intellectually.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Institutional review board approval was obtained from the Hamburg ethics committee (PV5000).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.
Author note Nasuh Utku Dogan is a TUBİTAK Scholar.