Background: This study aimed to assess the safety of robotic surgery for older women undergoing surgery for endometrial cancer.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of women undergoing surgery for endometrial cancer between October 2010 and December 2012 was conducted at the authors' institution. This cohort was divided by age (≥65 vs <65 years) and surgical approach (laparotomy vs robotic surgery). Postoperative morbidity and mortality were compared using standard statistical analysis.
Results: Of 228 patients identified, 73 (32 %) were 65 years old or older, and 98 (43 %) had undergone robotic surgery. Among the robotic surgery patients, women 65 years old or older had a higher Charlson comorbidity score (7.6 vs 4.9; p < 0.01) and were more likely to undergo pelvic lymphadenectomy (73 vs 39 %; p < 0.01). The complication rates did not differ between the groups except for increased urinary retention in the older group (15 % vs 3 %; p = 0.04). Older patients had a longer hospital stay (2.2 vs 1.3 days; p < 0.01) and a similar rate of discharge home (100 vs 96 %; p = 0.09). For the patients 65 years old or older, robotic surgery was associated with less blood loss (131 vs 235 ml; p = 0.03), a lower rate of ileus (0 vs 15 %; p = 0.04), a lower perioperative surgical complication rate (4 vs 30 %; p = 0.01), a shorter hospital stay (2.2 vs 4.4 days; p < 0.01), and a similar rate of discharge home (96 vs 91 %; p = 0.45) compared with laparotomy.
Conclusion: Robotic surgery appears to be associated with less postoperative morbidity than laparotomy for endometrial cancer staging in women 65 years old or older. The complication rates after robotic surgery were similar between the two age groups.