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Afr J Med Med Sci. 2010 Dec;39(4):329-32.

The learning curve of radical hysterectomy for early cervical carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.


Cervical cancer remains a public health concern in developing countries that lack the wherewithal to cope with the associated challenges. Screening for premalignant cervical lesions and offering definitive care for early disease is the key to preventing the scourge. We conducted an audit of the radical hysterectomies performed on account of early cervical carcinoma at our centre between September 2006 and August 2008, following capacity-building by Operation Stop Cervical Cancer. Ten women aged 35 to 60 years were managed. All had type III radical hysterectomy. Three patients had adjuvant teletherapy (one was stage IIb, diagnosed intra-operatively). There was a linear reduction in the surgical blood loss and duration of surgery. Average blood loss was 1500 mls; four had blood transfusions. One case was complicated with rectovaginal fistula (the woman with stage IIb disease) and another had bilateral lymphoedema and left lower limb sensory neuropathy. There was no tumour recurrence on follow-up. Definitive surgery for early cervical cancer is feasible in developing countries despite limited resources. Audit of surgical care of cervical cancer will assist in strengthening the scarce skill. Determination of suitable cases during preoperative evaluation is crucial to the success of the surgery.

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