Laparoscopy as Part of the Management of Gynecologic Neoplasms - Report of Our Clinical Experience
Yehuda Ben David, Moshe Bustan, Eliezer Shalev
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, HaEmek Medical Center, Afula
Introduction: Surgery is the treatment of choice in most early stages of cervical cancer and advanced stages of ovarian cancer. Failing to preoperatively diagnose para-aortic and parametrial metastases in cervical cancer or a non-resectable, ovarian cancer, may results in a superfluous laparotomy.
Aim: To evaluate the advantage of using laparoscopy in cervical and ovarian cancer.
Patients and Methods: Study population includes patients with ovarian or cervical cancer referred between 1997-1999. A CT scan and a trans-vaginal sonography were used to detect involvement of pelvic and para-aortic lymph nodes, parametrium and other metastases. In patients with cervical cancer, para-aortic lymph node dissection was laparoscopically performed. When para-aortic nodes were negative and parametrium was clear, radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymph nodes dissection was conducted through laparotomy. When para-aortic lymph nodes or parametrium were positive, patients were referred for radiation therapy. In ovarian cancer patients, the upper abdomen and the pelvis were examined laparoscopically to evaluate the possibility of optimal debulking surgery. Staging was done for patients who were not candidates for optimal debulking surgery and second debulking surgery was considered.
Results: Nine patients with stage lb-lla cervical cancer were included. Preoperatively, 2 of them were suspected for lymph node involvement. Following laparoscopy one was confirmed to have para-aortic lymph node involvement and the other did not. In the remaining 8 patients, one was found to have parametrial involvement and laparotomy was avoided, while the rest were treated surgically.
Eighteen ovarian cancer patients were included in this study. Laparoscopy revealed an extensive disease in 7 patients and therefore staging laparoscopy was completed. In the remaining 11 patients, laparotomy was performed, operable disease was found and complete debulking surgery was conducted. In only one patient of the 11 complete debulking surgeries was not possible.
Conclusions: In accordance with the experience and skills of the surgical team, we propose utilizing laparoscopy in cases where laparotomy may be avoided.