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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Nov;167(5):1225-30.

Selective pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy does not increase morbidity in surgical staging of endometrial carcinoma.

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Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.



The objective of this study was to retrospectively assess whether there was increased morbidity associated with the addition of selective pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy to hysterectomy in patients with endometrial carcinoma.


From 1977 through 1988, 196 patients undergoing selective pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy plus hysterectomy were compared with 104 patients who underwent hysterectomy alone for endometrial adenocarcinoma.


Only after adjusting for covariates was selective pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy associated with a higher estimated blood loss, which increased linearly with weight and was higher for black than for white women. The transfusion rate was similar for the two groups (selective pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy 6%, hysterectomy 10%). The mean blood loss was significantly different among the four gynecologic oncology surgeons (range 343 to 652 ml). The operating time primarily depended on patient weight and race, surgeon, and estimated blood loss. Postoperative hospital stay increased significantly with age, surgeon, wound infections, thrombotic events, and serious complications. Selective pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy had no effect on wound infections, which were directly related to operating time. Seventy-five (38%) of the selective pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy group and 19 (18%) of the hysterectomy group (p < 0.01) received whole-pelvic radiation with no difference in bowel complications (selective pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy 2/75, hysterectomy 1/19). The risk of serious complications was associated only with increasing age.


Selective pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy in patients with endometrial carcinoma does not significantly add to morbidity from hysterectomy, which is related primarily to other factors such as patient weight, age, and race; operating time; and surgeon.

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