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Laparoscopic total radical hysterectomy by the Pune technique: our experience of 248 cases.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To describe our experience and technique of total laparoscopic radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy, which is the largest single- institution study.

DESIGN: Retrospective, nonrandomized study (Canadian Task Force classification II-2).

SETTING: Private hospital.

PATIENTS: Two hundred forty-eight patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IA2 (n = 32) and IB1 (n = 216) of cancer of the cervix.

INTERVENTION: Total laparoscopic type III radical hysterectomy with bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy was done. Simple repetitive steps were used to perform this surgery and develop an easily replicable technique. Harmonic Shears, bipolar coagulation, and vascular clips were used. Resection of the cardinal and uterosacral ligaments was performed with LigaSure (LigaSure Vessel Sealing System; Valleylab, Tyco Healthcare, Boulder, CO) or the Harmonic Shears (Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., Cincinnati, OH). Pelvic lymph node dissection was done.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Histopathologically, there were 183 (73%) cases of squamous carcinoma, 52 (20%) adenocarcinomas, and 13 (5%) adenosquamous carcinomas. Four patients needing anterior exenteration because of bladder involvement were excluded from data analyses. The operation was performed entirely by laparoscopy in all patients and by the same surgical team. The patients' median age was 61 years. The median operative time was 92 minutes (range 65-120 minutes). The median number of resected pelvic nodes was 18. The median blood loss was 165 mL. The median length of stay was 3 days. All 15 intraoperative complications were tackled laparoscopically. No patients were converted to the open technique. There were no deaths in our series. Seventeen patients had complications within 2 months of surgery. Seven patients had recurrences after a median follow-up of 36 months.

CONCLUSION: Our technique of total laparoscopic radical hysterectomy, developed over 248 cases, can be performed safely. It is an easily replicable technique. This procedure reduces the morbidity associated with abdominal radical hysterectomy. All of the complications can also be tackled laparoscopically, which does not further add to the morbidity.

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