High-grade endometrial cancer often presents with occult metastatic disease and this presentation pattern can be considered a contraindication to minimally invasive surgery. We sought to compare the surgical and oncologic outcomes of patients with high-grade endometrial cancer who underwent surgical management/staging via the robotic approach versus the traditional open approach. A retrospective analysis was performed of patients with high-grade endometrial cancer who were treated at a single institution from January 2008 through December 2011. High-grade endometrial histology was defined as FIGO grade 2 or 3 endometrioid, serous, clear cell or uterine carcinosarcoma. Pre-operatively, all patients had clinical stage I disease based on a combination of physical examination and imaging studies. Baseline patient demographics, operative results, complications and oncologic outcomes were analyzed. Eighty consecutive patients were included. Forty-seven patients underwent surgical management using the robotic approach and 33 patients underwent a traditional operation via laparotomy. The groups were well matched in terms of age, body mass index, medical co-morbidities, stage and histology. The average hospital stay for patients who underwent open surgery was significantly longer than for those who underwent a robotic approach [5.6 versus 1.4 days (p = 0.0001)]. Of the patients who underwent robotic surgery, 7/47 (15 %) experienced an operative complication versus 18/33 (55 %) in the open surgery cohort (p = 0.002). The average number of pelvic lymph nodes retrieved in each cohort was 12. The average number of para-aortic lymph nodes retrieved in each group was 4. On final pathologic analysis, 20 patients in the robotic surgery arm were found to have disease that had spread beyond the uterus (43 %), compared to 14 in the traditional surgery group (42 %). There were 11/47 (23 %) recurrences in the robotic surgery group during the study period, compared to 8/33 (24 %) in the laparotomy group. There were no significant differences in progression-free or overall survival between the two cohorts. Robotic surgery is safer than laparotomy for patients with high-grade endometrial cancer. The oncologic outcomes appear similar. Minimizing morbidity in this patient population is important since many are elderly and will require adjuvant therapy.
- High-grade endometrial cancer
- Robotic surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics