Minimally invasive surgery versus laparotomy in women with high grade endometrial cancer: a multi-site study performed at high volume cancer centers

Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Aug;126(2):180-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2012.04.028. Epub 2012 Apr 30.


Objective: The study aim was to compare outcomes in women with high-grade endometrial cancer (EC) who underwent surgical staging via minimally invasive surgery (MIS) versus laparotomy.

Methods: This is a retrospective, multi-institutional cohort study of patients with high-grade EC who were comprehensively surgically staged by either MIS or laparotomy. Demographic, surgical variables, complications, and survival were analyzed.

Results: Three hundred and eighty-three patients met criteria: 191 underwent laparotomy and 192 MIS (65% robotic, 35% laparoscopy). Subgroups were well matched by age (mean 66 years), stage, body mass index, histology and adjuvant therapies. Median operative time was longer in the MIS group (191 vs. 135 min; p<.001). However, the MIS cohort had a higher mean lymph node count (39.0 vs. 34.0; p=.03), shorter hospital stay (1 vs. 4 days) and significantly fewer complications (8.4% vs. 31.3%; p<.001). There was no significant difference in lymph node count with laparoscopic versus robotic staging. With a median follow-up time of 44 months, progression-free (PFS) and overall survival were not significantly different between the surgical cohorts. On multivariable analysis, stage, treatment were associated with PFS.

Conclusions: Women with high grade endometrial cancers staged by minimally invasive techniques experienced fewer complications and similar survival outcomes compared to those staged by laparotomy. As this population is elderly and most will receive adjuvant therapies, minimization of surgical morbidity is of interest. When managed by expert laparoscopists or robotic surgeons, a high-risk histologic subtype is not a contraindication to minimally invasive surgery in women with apparent early-stage disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laparotomy / methods
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis