A vaginal and extraperitoneal approach to surgically stage patients with endometrial cancer

David F. Silver, Clifford R. Wheeless, Fouad M. Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective. The purpose of this project was to prospectively evaluate the feasibility of an alternative technique for surgically staging patients with endometrial cancer. Methods. Patients with endometrial cancer were enrolled in this protocol from September 1999 until August 2000. The staging procedure included pelvic washings via colpotomy, total vaginal hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (TVH/BSO), and extraperitoneal pelvic and paraaortic lymphadenectomy (EP-LND) if indicated. Tumor characteristics, time and feasibility of surgical procedures, length of hospital stays, and complications were prospectively recorded. Results. Twenty-one patients were enrolled. Grade 1, 2, and 3 tumors were identified in 6 (29%), 10 (48%), and 5 (24%) patients, respectively. Pelvic washings and TVH/BSOs were performed on all patients. A total of 21/21 (100%) uterine specimens were removed vaginally and 41/42 (98%) adnexa were resected vaginally. EP-LNDs were performed on 17 (81%) patients due to pathologic findings of the uterine specimens. The median time to perform a TVH/BSO was 68 (47-149) min. The median time to complete a EP-LND was 77 (59-107) min. The median number of postoperative days was 1 (1-5). Complications were infrequent and mild. Conclusions. TVH/BSO, pelvic washings, and EP-LND is a feasible alternative to standard surgical staging of endometrial cancer. The minimal amount of exposure to the intraperitoneal space makes this approach arguably the least invasive for endometrial cancer staging and accounts for the decrease in recovery time and shortened hospital stays. The acceptable length of surgical time, short hospital stays, and minimal requirements for surgical instruments make this approach potentially the most cost-effective option for surgically staging patients with endometrial cancer. A randomized trial comparing this technique to standard surgical staging is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-149
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Surgical staging
  • Vaginal hysterectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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