Appendectomy in the surgical staging of ovarian carcinoma

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1996 Jun;53(3):249-52. doi: 10.1016/0020-7292(96)02665-3.


Objectives: Extensive debulking is accepted as the primary method of operative management for carcinoma of the ovary. However, there is no consensus regarding the role of appendectomy in primary surgical treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the role of appendectomy in the surgical staging and cytoreduction of ovarian carcinoma.

Methods: The study was a retrospective review of 90 primary malignant ovarian carcinoma patients who had an appendectomy in addition to primary cytoreductive surgery.

Results: Out of 90 patients, 10 (11.1%) had metastasis to the appendix. The rate of metastasis to the appendix was 11.5% (9/78) in malignant epithelial ovarian carcinomas and 8.3% (1/12) in non-epithelial ovarian tumors. Of the patients with metastasis in the appendix, malignant epithelial ovarian tumors were identified in 90% (serous: 70%; clear cell: 20%), and non-epithelial malignant ovarian tumor were disclosed in 10% (granulosa cell carcinoma). There were no metastases to the appendix in the other histological types. Although metastasis to the appendix was not observed in early stage ovarian carcinomas, it was detected in 21.4% (9/42) of stage III and 50% (1/2) of stage IV. Macroscopic tumor metastasis in the abdomen was noted in all patients with metastasis to the appendix.

Conclusion: Appendectomy for stage I and II patients was not beneficial and did not affect final staging. As a result, for the proper staging of ovarian carcinoma there is no advantage to the addition of routine appendectomy to primary cytoreductive surgery in early stage (stage I and II) malignant epithelial ovarian tumors. Appendectomy would contribute to the cytoreduction of advanced stage disease if it is macroscopically involved.

MeSH terms

  • Appendectomy*
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Appendix / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies