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Reproductive outcomes of patients undergoing radical trachelectomy for early-stage cervical cancer.

OBJECTIVE: To report the reproductive outcomes of patients undergoing fertility-preserving radical trachelectomy (RT) for the treatment of early-stage cervical cancer.

METHODS: We analyzed data from our institution's first 105 patients who underwent attempted fertility-sparing surgery with radical trachelectomy, pelvic lymphadenectomy, and cerclage from November 2001 to October 2010.

RESULTS: Of the 105 patients who underwent attempted RT, 77 (73%) did not require a conversion to radical hysterectomy or postoperative treatment. The median age was 32 (range, 25-38 years). Most patients (75%) had stage IB1 disease. Sixty-six patients (63%) were nulliparous. Thirty-five women were actively attempting conception 6 months after surgery, and 23 (66%) women were successful in conceiving: there were 20 live births, 3 elective terminations, and 4 spontaneous miscarriages. Four patients had 2 pregnancies each; all delivered their second pregnancy between 32 and 36 weeks. Cerclage erosion through the vaginal wall occurred in 6 cases and was treated by transvaginal removal of protruding suture material. One of these patients experienced a second trimester miscarriage.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of women who attempted to conceive after radical trachelectomy were successful, and most of their pregnancies resulted in full-term births. Assisted reproduction played an important role in select women. Cerclage likely contributed to a post-trachelectomy uterine ability to carry a pregnancy to the third trimester. The second post-trachelectomy pregnancy appears to be at higher risk for preterm delivery than the first pregnancy.

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