Late morbidity following nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy

D Cibula, P Velechovska, J Sláma, D Fischerova, I Pinkavova, D Pavlista, P Dundr, M Hill, P Freitag, M Zikan
Gynecologic Oncology 2010, 116 (3): 506-11

OBJECTIVES: Nerve-sparing (NS) modification of radical hysterectomy (RH) has been developed with the main purpose of improving the quality of life after radical surgical treatment of early-stage cervical cancer. Although the procedure has been discussed for almost 30 years, there are only limited data available on late morbidity. The aim of the study was to prospectively evaluate the morbidity of patients before and 6 months after NS RH and compare that with the morbidity in patients following different types of parametrectomy without nerve sparing.

METHODS: Multiple parameters were assessed prospectively using 20-item self-reported questionnaire, focusing on three main areas of morbidity: bladder, sexual, and anorectal functions. Excluded were patients treated with adjuvant radiotherapy.

RESULTS: Enrolled were women following NS RH (N=32), type C RH (N=19), and type D RH (N=21). Nine parameters significantly deteriorate in the whole group after the treatment: defecation straining (p=0.03), defecation regularity (p=0.0006), defecation frequency (p=0.02), need to use laxatives (p<0.001), flatulence incontinence (p<0.001), urinary incontinence (p<0.001), nocturia (p=0.002), loss of bladder sensation (p=0.04), and straining to void (p<0.001). There were significant differences (p<0.05) between groups following NS and type C or D RH in changes of following parameters: defecation regularity, receptivity to sexual activity, urinary incontinence, nocturia, and straining to void, while no differences were found between type C and D RH. Minimal changes were observed in any of 10 parameters of sexual functions.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirmed a significant negative impact of RH on bladder and anorectal functions. Autonomic nerve preservation significantly improved morbidity 6 months after treatment.

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