The role of laparoscopy in second-look evaluations for ovarian cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Jan;80(1):44-7. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2000.6036.


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and safety of laparoscopic second-look operations in patients with ovarian cancer.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients who have undergone laparoscopic second-look procedures for ovarian cancer at our institution.

Results: From July 1993 to December 1998, 150 patients underwent laparoscopic second-look operations. The mean age of patients was 53 years (range, 25-78 years). The majority of patients (87%) had Stage III or IV disease at initial surgery; the remainder were Stage II or unstaged. Eighty-two patients (54%) had had optimal cytoreduction at the time of their initial surgery. All patients had completed primary chemotherapy and were clinically disease-free based on imaging studies and CA-125 levels at the time of second look. Sixty-nine patients (46%) were found to have pathologically negative second looks; thus, the rate of positive second-look evaluations was 54%. The rate of conversion to laparotomy was 18/150 (12%). In 3 cases this was secondary to bowel injury; one patient sustained a bladder injury; the remainder of conversions to laparotomy were for secondary cytoreduction. There was only 1 case where the patient was found to have extensive adhesions and laparoscopy was abandoned. The overall rate of major complications was 2.7%.

Conclusions: In our experience, laparoscopy is a safe and accurate method of second-look assessment in patients with ovarian cancer. The incidence of complications is low, particularly in this group of patients, all of whom have undergone prior abdominal surgery. The rate of negative evaluations and the rate of recurrences in patients with negative second looks are equivalent to those described in studies of second-look assessment by laparotomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Laparoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Laparoscopy* / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitoxantrone / administration & dosage
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Reoperation / adverse effects
  • Reoperation / methods
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Deoxycytidine
  • gemcitabine
  • Mitoxantrone
  • Paclitaxel
  • Cisplatin