Pregnancies after radical vaginal trachelectomy for early-stage cervical cancer

M Roy, M Plante
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1998, 179 (6): 1491-6

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of fertility-preserving surgery in the treatment of early-stage cervical cancer.

STUDY DESIGN: We retrospectively reviewed our first 30 patients treated by laparoscopic pelvic lymphadenectomy, followed by radical vaginal trachelectomy, from October 1991 to April 1998.

RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 32 years (range 22-42 years); 15 were nulligravid and 19 nulliparous. Twenty cancers were at stage IB, 1 was at stage IA1, 7 were at stage IA2, and 2 were at stage IIA. The majority (18/30) were squamous. Two lesions were >2 cm in size, and only 4 had vascular space invasion. The median operative time was 285 minutes (range 155-455 minutes), median blood loss 200 mL (range 50-1200 mL), and median hospital stay 4 days (range 2-9 days). There were 4 intraoperative complications-2 attributed to the trachelectomy and 2 resulting from the lymphadenectomy. The current median follow-up time is 25 months (range 1-79 months). One patient had a recurrence in the left parametrium 18 months after vaginal radical trachelectomy and died of metastatic disease. The only 6 patients attempting pregnancy so far have succeeded: 4 have had healthy babies delivered by cesarean section at 39, 38, 34, and 25 weeks of gestation. Two are currently 33 and 8 weeks pregnant.

CONCLUSION: Radical vaginal trachelectomy appears to be a valuable procedure in well-selected patients with early-stage cervical cancer. Successful pregnancies are definitely possible after this procedure. This new surgical technique warrants further careful evaluation to determine precise indications.

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