Nerve Sparing Radical Hysterectomy: Short-Term Oncologic, Surgical, and Functional Outcomes

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Feb 19;12(2):483. doi: 10.3390/cancers12020483.


There is an obvious prevalence of disparity in opinions concerning the technique of nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy and its application, despite agreement on the need to spare the pelvic autonomic nerve system during such a radical operation. Understanding the precise three-dimensional anatomy of paracolpium and its close anatomical relationship to the components of the pelvic autonomic nervous system is the key in performing the nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy. A total of 42 consecutive patients with primary cervical cancers, who were operated upon in our institution between January 2017 and June 2019, were analyzed, concerning surgical, urinary functional, and short-term oncologic outcomes. Two thirds of the patients had locally advanced tumors (T > 40 mm or pT ≥ IIA2) with a median tumor size of 44.1 mm. The nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy was combined with the complete recovery of bladder function in 90% of patients directly after surgery and in 97% of patients in the first 2 weeks. The recurrence rate in a median follow-up time of 18 months was 9.5%. The nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy approach, which depends on the comprehensive understanding of the precise entire anatomy of paracolpium, was found to be feasible and applicable, even in locally advanced tumors, with good functional results and convincing short-term oncologic outcomes.

Keywords: hypogastric nerves; inferior hypogastric plexus; nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy; paracolpium; parametrium; pelvic splanchnic nerves.