Robot-assisted versus total laparoscopic radical hysterectomy in early cervical cancer, a review

Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Mar;120(3):334-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2010.12.342. Epub 2011 Jan 13.


Objective: The aim of this study was to review current literature on total laparoscopic (TLRH) and robot-assisted radical hysterectomy (RRH) with pelvic lymphadenectomy in the treatment of early stage cervical cancer by analyzing data published in individual case series in order to compare surgical and oncological outcomes.

Methods: Up to January 2010, 27 studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria, together with our own unpublished data of patients, accounted for 342 RRH patients and 914 TLRH patients.

Results: There was no statistical difference between the methods in terms of age, BMI or prior abdominal surgery. Estimated mean operative time, blood loss and number of lymph nodes retrieved did not statistically differ between the RRH and TLRH method. Less blood transfusions were needed in patients treated by RRH (5.4%) versus TLRH (9.7%, p<0.05). Both methods were similar in respect to adjuvant chemo- or (chemo)radiation and recurrence rate. When complications were prioritized to severity, major post-operative complications where more frequent in RRH patients (9.6%) than in TLRH patients (5.5%, p<0.05). The length of hospital stay was significantly shorter in RRH compared to TLRH treatment (3.3 versus 6.2days respectively; p:0.04).

Conclusions: Robot-assisted and total laparoscopic radical hysterectomy appears to be equally adequate and feasible. RRH studies had small patient populations and further experience beyond the learning curve phase may improve operative time and complication rate. Both minimal invasive techniques should be investigated in a randomized manner.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / methods*
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Length of Stay
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Robotics*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery*