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Gynecol Oncol. 2009 May;113(2):191-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2009.01.018. Epub 2009 Feb 26.

A multi-institutional experience with robotic-assisted radical hysterectomy for early stage cervical cancer.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.



The purpose of the study is to report a multi-institutional experience with robotic-assisted radical hysterectomy to treat patients with early stage cervical cancer with respect to perioperative outcomes.


A multi-institutional robotic surgical consortium consisting of five board-certified gynecologist oncologist in distinct geographical regions of the United States was created to evaluate the utility of robotics for gynecologic surgery (benign and malignant). Between April 2003 and August 2008, a total of 835 patients underwent robotic surgery for benign gynecologic disorders and/or gynecologic malignancies by a surgeon in the consortium. IRB approval was obtained and data was collected in a prospective fashion at each institution. For the purposes of the study, a multi-institutional HIPPA compliant database was then created for all patients that underwent robotic-assisted surgery between the April 2003 and August 2008. This database was queried for all patients who underwent a robotic-assisted type II or III radical hysterectomy for Stage IA1 (+vsi)-IB2 cervical carcinoma. Forty-two patients were identified. Records were then reviewed for demographic data, medical conditions, prior abdominal or pelvic surgeries, and follow-up. The perioperative outcomes analyzed included: operative time (skin-skin), estimated blood loss (EBL), length of hospital stay, total lymph node count, conversion to laparotomy, and operative complications.


From a database of 835 patients who underwent robotic surgery by a gynecologic oncologist, a total of 42 patients who underwent a robotic-assisted type II (n=10) or type III (n=32) radical hysterectomy for early stage cervical cancer were identified. Demographic data demonstrated a median age of 41 and a median BMI of 25.1. With regard to stage, seven patients (17%) were Stage IA2, twenty-eight patients (67%) were Stage IB1 and six patients (14%) were Stage IB2. There was a single patient with Stage IA1 cervical cancer with vascular space invasion who underwent a type II radical hysterectomy. The overall median operative time was 215 min. The overall median estimated blood loss was 50 cc. No patient received a blood transfusion. The median lymph node count was 25. The median hospital stay was 1 day. Positive lymph nodes were detected in 12% of the patients. Pelvic radiotherapy or chemo-radiation was given to 14% of the patients based on final surgical pathology. Intraoperative complications occurred in 4.8% of the patients and included one conversion to laparotomy (2.4%) and one ureteral injury (2.4%). Postoperative complications were reported in 12% of the patients and included a DVT (2.4%), infection (7.2%), and bladder/urinary tract complication (2.4%) The conversion rate to laparotomy was 2.4%.


Robotic-assisted radical hysterectomy is associated with minimal blood loss, a shortened hospital stay, and few operative complications. Operative time and lymph node yields are acceptable. This data suggests that robotic-assisted radical hysterectomy may offer an alternative to traditional radical hysterectomy. This series contributes to the growing literature on robotic-assisted radical hysterectomy and prospective comparisons with traditional radical hysterectomy are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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