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The role of surgery in the management of gestational trophoblastic disease
  1. W. B. Jones,
  2. J. Wolchok and
  3. J. L. Lewis
  1. Department of Surgery, Gynecology Service, Memorial Hospital, New York, USA
  1. Address for correspondence: Dr W. B. Jones, c/o Academic Office, Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Between November 1967 and December 1994, 242 patients with gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) were treated with chemotherapy by the Gynecology Service of Memorial Hospital. Eighty-seven of the patients (35.9%) underwent at least one major operation during the course of their illness. Twenty-six patients underwent two major operations, and in five patients, three major operations were performed, for a total of 118 procedures. The most frequent procedures were: hysterectomy, 56 (47.4%); hysterotomy, 15 (12.7%); thoracotomy, 13 (11%); and craniotomy, 5(4.2%). Twenty-nine additional procedures ranging in complexity from oophorectomy to segmental liver resection were also performed. Twenty-nine operations (24.5%) were considered to be beyond the scope of most gynecologic surgeons. The overall complete remission rate for 242 patients was 90.4%. The rate for patients who underwent a major surgical procedure was 79.3% compared to 96.7% for patients whose treatment was with chemotherapy alone.

The data demonstrate that the integration of surgery in the management of GTD patients often requires a multidisciplinary approach that in many cases can best achieved at specialized treatment centers.

  • choriocarcinoma
  • surgery
  • trophoblastic disease.

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