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A prospective randomized assessment of quality of life between open and robotic hysterectomy in early endometrial cancer


Objective There are limited prospective data on the evaluation of quality of life in patients undergoing robotic hysterectomy for endometrial cancer. Our objective was to determine whether post-operative recovery differs between robotic and abdominal hysterectomy.

Methods At a Swedish tertiary referral university hospital, 50 women with low-risk endometrial cancer scheduled for surgery between February 2012 and May 2016 were included in a randomized trial. Surgery was performed according to principles for minimal invasive surgery. Anesthesia and peri-operative care followed a standardized enhanced recovery after surgery program in both groups. The EuroQol Group form EQ-5D and the Short Form-36 were used to evaluate patients' health-related quality of life. The Swedish Postoperative Symptoms Questionnaire assessed symptoms pre-operatively, daily for 7 days from the day of surgery, and then weekly until 6 weeks post-operatively. Data were analyzed by means of non-parametric tests and repeated measures ANOVA. To evaluate the time-dependent occurrence of complications, Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox proportional-hazard models were used.

Results A total of 50 women were enrolled in the study (25 robotic and 25 abdominal hysterectomy). Median age (68 years vs 67 years), estimated blood loss (50 mL vs 50 mL), length of hospital stay de facto (53 hours vs 51 hours), and time to meet discharge criteria (36 hours vs 36 hours) in the robotic and abdominal groups, respectively, did not differ significantly (p>0.05) Women in the robotic hysterectomy group recovered significantly faster (p=0.01) in the EQ-5D health index, and reached their pre-operative level after approximately 3 weeks, nearly 2 weeks earlier than the abdominal group. Differences regarding improvement in health-related quality of life (Short Form-36) were statistically significant in general health and social functioning only, and were in favor of robotic hysterectomy. Consumption of analgesics, pain intensity, and symptom sum score post-operatively were equal. Occurrence of complications was an independent risk factor and influenced significantly the EQ-5D health index, length of hospital stay, pain intensity, opioid consumption, and symptom sum score adversely.

Conclusion Robotic hysterectomy in the setting of an enhanced recovery after surgery program led to faster recovery in health-related quality of life compared with abdominal hysterectomy.

  • endometrial cancer
  • postoperative symptoms
  • recovery
  • quality of life
  • robotic hysterectomy

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