Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the survival of cervical cancer patients treated with laparoscopically assisted radical vaginal hysterectomy (LARVH). We quantify morbidity and correlate survival with known risk factors.
Methods: Between August 1994 and June 2002, 200 patients with cervical cancer (TNM stage 1a1, L1 n = 6, 1a2 n = 21, 1b1 n = 89, 1b2 n = 26, 2a n = 11, 2b n = 45, 3a n = 1, 4 n = 1; squamous cell carcinoma 76.5%, adenocarcinoma 23.5%) were treated with LARVH (type II n = 102, type III n = 98).
Results: Paraaortic lymphadenectomy was performed in 170 (85%) patients and pelvic lymphadenectomy was performed in all 200 patients. In 26 (13%) patients positive lymph nodes were found. Major intraoperative injuries occurred in 6% of patients. Postoperative complications occurred in 8% of patients. Incidence of complications decreased significantly when comparing the first half with the second half of patients. After a median follow-up time of 40 months, overall 5-year survival could be projected to 83%; 18.5% of patients experienced recurrence with 35% exclusively extrapelvic and 11% of patients died of recurrence. Independent prognostic factors for recurrence-free survival were tumor stage, lymph node status, and combined involvement of lymphovascular and angiovascular space. In the absence of these risk factors projected 5-year survival was 98%.
Conclusion: Patients with tumor <4 cm, negative lymph nodes, and the absence of the combination of angio- and lymphovascular space involvement can be identified by laparoscopic staging and are ideal candidates for LARVH.