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Incidence, risk factors and treatment of cervical stenosis after radical trachelectomy: A systematic review

Xiaoqi Li, Jin Li, Xiaohua Wu
European Journal of Cancer 2015, 51 (13): 1751-9

PURPOSE: Cervical stenosis is a major and specific postoperative complication following radical trachelectomy. The current article presents a review of studies describing the incidence, risk factors and treatment methods of cervical stenosis after this fertility sparing procedure.

METHODS: We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase (January 1994 through November 2014) using the following terms: uterine cervix neoplasms, cervical cancer, radical trachelectomy, fertility sparing and fertility preservation. We included original articles and case series. Case reports, review articles, articles not in English and articles not mentioning cervical stenosis were all excluded.

RESULTS: We identified 1547 patients. The incidence rates of cervical stenosis ranged from 0% to 73.3% with an average rate of 10.5%. Among patients with abdominal, vaginal, laparoscopic and robotic radical trachelectomy, the incidences of cervical stenosis were 11.0%, 8.1%, 9.3% and 0%, respectively. In patients in whom whether cerclage was placed or not, the incidence rates of cervical stenosis were 8.6% and 3.0%, respectively (P=NS). Among those in whom whether anti-stenosis tools were placed or not, the incidences of cervical stenosis were 4.6% and 12.7%, respectively (P<0.001). Cervical stenosis was a potential cause of infertility and increased the use of artificial reproductive technology. Surgical dilatation resolved stenosis in the majority of cases but had to be repeated.

CONCLUSIONS: Cervical stenosis is related to the surgical approach, cerclage and anti-stenosis tools utilised. It affects not only the quality of life but also obstetrical outcomes of patients following radical trachelectomy. Greater attention should be given to the prevention and treatment of this complication.

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