Minimally Invasive Radical Hysterectomy for Cervical Cancer Is Associated With Reduced Morbidity and Similar Survival Outcomes Compared With Laparotomy

Elisabeth Diver, Emily Hinchcliff, Allison Gockley, Alexander Melamed, Leah Contrino, Sarah Feldman, Whitfield Growdon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Study Objective To assess outcomes of women with cervical cancer undergoing upfront radical hysterectomy (RH) via a minimally invasive surgery (MIS) or a traditional laparotomy (XL) approach at 2 large US academic institutions to determine whether the mode of surgery affects patient outcomes. Design Retrospective cohort study (Canadian Task Force classification II-1). Setting Two academic medical institutions in the United States. Patients Women undergoing upfront RH for cervical cancer between 2000 and 2013. Intervention Minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopic and robotic) for RH compared with XL. Measurements and Main Results A total of 383 women met the eligibility requirements. Of these, 101 underwent an MIS (i.e., traditional laparoscopy, laparoendoscopic single site, or robotic) approach, and 282 underwent an XL approach. Overall survival (median not reached; p = .29) was not different between the 2 groups. Recurrence was rare and equivalent in the 2 groups, affecting 5.0% of patients in the MIS group and 6.4% of those in the XL group (p = .86). Pelvic lymph nodes were dissected in 98% of patients in the MIS group and 97% of those in the XL group (p > .99) and were found to be positive in 10.9% and 8.5% of those patients, respectively (p = .55). The mean number of pelvic lymph nodes retrieved was higher in the MIS group (19.4 vs 16.0; p < .001). There was no between-group difference in the rate of postoperative chemotherapy (p = .32) or radiation therapy (p = .28). Surgical margins were positive in 5.0% of specimens in the MIS group and in 4.6% of specimens in the XL group (p = .54). Although there was no difference in the overall rate of complications (15.1% and 17.2%, respectively; p = .87), laparotomy was associated with a higher median estimated blood loss (EBL) (50 cm3 vs 500 cm3) and a higher rate of perioperative blood transfusion (3.0% vs 26.2%; p < .001). Length of perioperative hospital stay was significantly shorter in the MIS group (1.9 days vs 4.9 days; p < .001). Conclusion MIS RH does not compromise patient outcomes, including overall survival, rate of recurrence, and the frequency of pelvic lymph node dissection or positivity. Morbidity was decreased in the MIS group, including decreased EBL, fewer blood transfusions, and shorter hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-406
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Cervical cancer
  • Laparoscopy
  • Radical hysterectomy
  • Robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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