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Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Dec;123(3):467-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.08.027. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Defining the limits of radical cytoreductive surgery for ovarian cancer.

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Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, USA.



Despite significant morbidity, surgical cytoreduction is the standard of care for ovarian cancer. We examined the outcomes of cytoreductive surgery to determine if there are groups of patients in which the morbidity is so substantial that alternate treatment strategies are warranted.


The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to identify women who underwent surgery for ovarian cancer from 1998 to 2007. The effect of age, number of radical procedures performed, and clinical characteristics on morbidity and mortality were examined.


A total of 28,651 women were identified. The complication rates increased with age from 17.1% in those <50 years of age to 29.7% in women age 70-79 and to 31.5% in those ≥ 80 (p<0.05). The number of extended procedures performed was also a predictor of morbidity; complications increased from 20.4% for women with 0 procedures to 34.0% for 1 and 44.0% for ≥ 2 procedures (p<0.0001). In multivariable analysis age, comorbidity, and the number of procedures performed were the strongest predictors of outcome. The morbidity associated with additional procedures was greatest in the elderly. Medical complications in women <50 years of age occurred in 10.2% of those who underwent 0 radical procedures vs. 23.7% in those who underwent 2 or more procedures. For women ≥ 80 years, complications were noted in 18.3% for 0 procedures, and 33.3% for 2 or more procedures.


The morbidity of cytoreduction is greatest in elderly women where the effects of age and the number of radical procedures performed have an additive effect on complication rates.

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