Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of laparoscopically staging patients with incompletely staged cancers of the uterus, ovary, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneum, and to evaluate related effects.
Study design: Patients without evidence of metastatic disease had laparoscopic bilateral para-aortic and pelvic lymph node dissection. Other procedures were individualized based on extent of the primary surgery; laparotomy was undertaken for identified resectable disease.
Results: Ninety-five eligible patients were entered on 2 Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) protocols. Eleven were excluded. Fifty-eight patients (69%) underwent complete endoscopic staging with photographic documentation. Nine others (10%) were incompletely staged. Seventeen patients (20%) had laparotomy. In patients undergoing laparoscopy, 6% had bowel complications; 11% were found to have more advanced disease. Hospital stay was significantly shorter with laparoscopy alone (3 vs 6 days, P = .04).
Conclusion: Interval laparoscopic staging of gynecologic malignancies can be successfully undertaken in selected patients, but laparotomy for adhesions or metastatic disease and risk of visceral injury may be anticipated.