Learning curve in concurrent application of laparoscopic and robotic-assisted hysterectomy with lymphadenectomy in endometrial cancer

Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Dec;56(6):781-787. doi: 10.1016/j.tjog.2017.10.014.


Objective: To evaluate the concurrent interaction of laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery in the initial learning period of endometrial cancer staging.

Materials and methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed for the first 44 consecutive patients with endometrial cancer underwent laparoscopic (LSS) or robotic-assisted staging surgery (RSS) from February 2012 to October 2015 by a single surgeon in a tertiary care referral hospital. Demographics, diagnosis, perioperative variables, and complications were recorded. Quality of surgery was determined by the number of lymph nodes dissected and learning curve was estimated by operative time with respect to chronologic order of operation.

Results: Twenty-four patients received LSS and 20 patients received RSS. RSS required longer operative time, but obtained more total number of lymph nodes compared with LSS (286.9 vs. 201.9 min (p < 0.001); 26.2 vs. 20.7 (p < 0.05), respectively. There were no difference in blood loss, number of para-aortic nodes removed, complications and hospital stay between the two types of surgery. An additive model based on tumor grade, body mass index, estimated blood loss and chronological order of operation was constructed to fit operative time of these two types of surgery. Proficiency of achievement was not observed for LSS and was 6 for RSS.

Conclusions: Operative time was longer but Lymph node dissection was easier in RSS. Learning curve for LSS to maintain similar surgical quality as RSS was not observed. The concurrent use of robotic platform in the initial practice of minimally invasive staging surgery could optimize surgical technique for LSS.

Keywords: Endometrial cancer; Laparoscopy; Learning curve; Robotic-assisted; Staging surgery.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / education*
  • Hysterectomy / methods
  • Laparoscopy / education*
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Learning Curve*
  • Lymph Node Excision / education*
  • Lymph Node Excision / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Operative Time
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / education*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / methods