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Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2004;25(5):571-6.

Stage I ovarian cancer: comparison of laparoscopy and laparotomy on staging and survival.

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  • 1Service de Chirurgie Gynécologique et Cancérologique, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Faculté de Médecine Necker Enfants Malades, Paris (France).



The aim of this study was to compare staging accurateness as well as survival when managing early ovarian cancers by laparoscopy or laparotomy.


We have conducted a retrospective and multicentric study in France. Only Stage I ovarian epithelial cancers operated on from January 1, 1985 to December 31, 1999 were taken into account. Respondents had to fill in a form detailing in each case the surgical access; the surgical acts performed during the initial intervention as well as data on the patient's follow-up. Lack of follow-up or final Stage > I were considered as exclusion criteria. Data were recorded and analysed with SPSS 7.5 and STATA (Stata statistical sofware 7.0). (ANOVA, chi-square test or Fisher's exact test and log-rank test).


105 cases were included: 14 patients were exclusively operated on by laparoscopy (group 1), 13 other patients were subjected to a conversion from laparoscopy to laparotomy (group 2) and 78 patients exclusively underwent laparotomy (group 3). Patients in group 3 were significantly more frequently postmenopausal and had larger lesions. Cyst rupture was rare during laparoscopy (21%) and the use of an endobag was achieved in only 21% of the patients in group 1. Radical treatment was significantly more frequent in group 3 when compared to group 1 (67% vs 23%, p < 0.05). Laparoscopy was not adequate for staging since no lymphadenectomy was carried out by this approach. However, only 27% of patients subjected to an open approach underwent lymphadenectomy and omentectomy. The outcome in terms of survival was similar in the three groups with a mean follow-up period of 1,221 days (+/- 832) (p = 0.1).


Laparoscopic management of early ovarian cancer is poorly efficient in staging although disease-free survival does not seem to be affected. Further evaluation of laparoscopy in this indication is needed.

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