Objectives: Radical trachelectomy has emerged as a reasonable fertility-sparing operation for selected patients with stage I cervical cancer. The purpose of this report is to describe our technique of radical abdominal trachelectomy, a fertility-sparing operation in women with cervical cancer, and review the current literature on this procedure.
Methods: A review of a prospectively maintained database of all fertility-sparing radical trachelectomy procedures performed at our institution.
Results: Between 11/01 and 3/06, we performed a total of 42 fertility-preserving radical trachelectomies with pelvic lymphadenectomy for women with invasive cervical cancer. We had previously reported on 2 pediatric abdominal trachelectomies, which are excluded from this report. Five of the remaining 40 cases had undergone a radical abdominal trachelectomy, and 35 cases were performed laparoscopically with a radical vaginal approach. The characteristics of the 5 adult patients who underwent abdominal radical trachelectomy included stage IB1 disease in all cases, a mean age of 36 years (range, 33-39), and a mean estimated blood loss of 280 ml (range, 50-400); 1 patient with squamous cell carcinoma needed completion radical hysterectomy at the time of trachelectomy due to disease extending into the endometrium, and 1 patient needed postoperative chemoradiation due to a positive parametrial lymph node. The remaining 3 patients resumed normal menstruation postoperatively. All patients remain disease-free at the time of this report. The only remaining uterine blood supply in these patients are the utero-ovarian vessels. There were no postoperative complications, and transurethral Foley catheters were removed in all cases within 2 weeks.
Conclusions: Radical abdominal trachelectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy is a feasible operation for selected women with stage I cervical cancer who desire to preserve reproductive function. Menstruation and reproductive function may be preserved after bilateral uterine vessel ligation. The procedure expands the inclusion criteria of radical vaginal trachelectomy to patients with distorted cervicovaginal anatomy in which the vaginal approach may not be feasible.