RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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A fertility-preserving option in early cervical carcinoma: laparoscopy-assisted vaginal radical trachelectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy.

OBJECTIVE: Laparoscopic vaginal radical trachelectomy is a fertility-preserving alternative to radical hysterectomy or chemoradiation in young women with stage IA2 to IB cervical cancers. The aim of this study is to describe the feasibility and outcome of laparoscopic radical vaginal trachelectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy in women treated with early cervical cancers who wish to maintain fertility.

STUDY DESIGN: From August 2000 through December 2004, 16 patients were offered this procedure. Patients were selected for this treatment on the basis of favorable cervical tumors and a desire to maintain fertility. Laparoscopic pelvic lymphadenectomies were performed in all patients. Vaginal radical trachelectomy was performed immediately if removed lymph nodes were negative. Obstetrical and oncological outcomes were evaluated.

RESULTS: Sixteen women underwent this procedure. The mean operative time was 142 min (115-178 min), with a mean blood loss of 180 ml (120-230 ml), and the average hospital stay was 6.7 days. No intraoperative or postoperative complications occurred. With an average follow-up of 28.2 months, there have been no recurrences. Five pregnancies have subsequently occurred, with two third-trimester deliveries, two miscarriages at 24 and 26 weeks' gestation, and one patient is currently 18 weeks' pregnant.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopy-assisted radical vaginal trachelectomy is an adequate treatment, with its minimally invasive procedure and shorter recovery time, for early-stage cervical cancer in women who wish to preserve fertility. However, fertility issues remain the largest unanswered problem with this technique.

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