Role of Laparoscopic Surgery in the Management of Endometrial Cancer

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  • 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Minimum surgical treatment for endometrial cancer is removal of the uterus. The operative approach to achieve that goal ranges from vaginal hysterectomy alone to laparotomy with radical hysterectomy, bilateral salpingoophorectomy, bilateral pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy with possible omentectomy, and resection of all metastatic disease. Stratifying the risk factors for predicting presence of metastatic disease has error rates exceeding tolerance for many gynecologic oncologists. Most accept routine laparoscopic surgical staging with hysterectomy, pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy, and removal of adnexa as standard care for patients with endometrial cancer. Modifying the extent of surgical staging for low-risk intrauterine findings or excessive risk for postoperative morbidity is also accepted. Laparoscopic surgery has become the ideal initial surgical approach for this disease, allowing for visual inspection of common metastatic sites, biopsy of abnormal areas, and cytology from peritoneal surfaces. The extent of staging can be altered depending on frozen section findings from the uterus, adnexa, and peritoneal surfaces. Intraoperative medical decision-making can be individualized, encompassing all known risk factors for metastases and balancing comorbidities and potential adverse outcomes. This article documents how laparoscopic surgery satisfies the needs of individual patients and surgeons treating this disease.

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Dr. Walker is a principal investigator for a National Cancer Institute-funded study for Gynecologic Oncology Group, Lap-2. Dr. Tenney has no financial interests, arrangements, or affiliations with the manufacturers of any products discussed in the article or their competitors.

Correspondence: Joan L. Walker, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1100 N. Lindsay, Oklahoma City, OK 73190.E-mail: Joan-Walker@ouhsc.edu
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