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Gynecol Oncol. 2008 Jun;109(3):364-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2008.02.020. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Transverse colectomy in ovarian cancer surgical cytoreduction: operative technique and clinical outcome.

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The Kelly Gynecologic Oncology Service, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 600 NorthWolfe Street, Phipps #281, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.



To describe the operative techniques and associated clinical outcomes of patients undergoing transverse colectomy as a component of cytoreductive surgery for advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer.


Thirty-nine patients underwent transverse colectomy as part of primary (n=33) or secondary (n=6) cytoreductive surgery for ovarian cancer between 1/97 and 4/07. The surgical techniques, associated morbidity, and clinical outcomes are described.


Among primary surgery patients, 75.6% had Stage IIIC disease, and 24.2% had Stage IV disease. Transverse colon surgery consisted of: partial colectomy in 33 cases and total transverse colectomy in 6 cases. Transverse colectomy with rectosigmoid colectomy was performed in 61.5% of patients, with two separate colonic anastomoses in 48.7%. The majority (89.7%) of transverse colon anastomoses were stapled, most commonly a functional end-to-end colocolostomy. Two patients required end colostomy. The median EBL was 500 cm(3). Residual disease was: no gross in 33.3%, 0.1-1.0 cm in 59.0%, and >1 cm in 7.7% of patients. Post-operative morbidity occurred in 25.6% of patients, with a fistula rate of 5.1% and a mortality rate of 2.6%. The median survival time after primary surgery was 68.3 months.


Transverse colectomy can contribute significantly to a maximal ovarian cancer cytoreductive surgical effort and carries acceptable morbidity. Resection of a non-contiguous segment of rectosigmoid colon is frequently necessary, and placement of two separate colonic anastomoses is associated with a low risk of anastomotic breakdown.

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