Laparoscopic debulking of bulky lymph nodes in women with cervical cancer: Indication and surgical outcomes

R. Tozzi, F. Lavra, T. Cassese, R. Garruto Campanile, V. Pedicini, M. Bignardi, M. Scorsetti, A. Bertuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To describe the technique and the surgical outcome of laparoscopic resection of bulky lymph nodes before adjuvant treatment. Design Prospective pilot study. Setting Gynaecological oncology cancer centre. Population From January 2006 to February 2008, 22 consecutive women presented with cervical cancer and bulky metastatic lymph nodes (>2 cm). Methods All women underwent resection of bulky lymph nodes by laparoscopy. A prospective record of the main surgical outcomes was performed. Main outcome measures Safety and efficacy of laparoscopic resection of bulky lymph nodes, conversion to laparotomy, intra- and perioperative morbidity. Results All the operations were completed by laparoscopy. Median operative time was 197 minutes (range 180-320). Median blood loss was 60 cc (range 10-100), two women experienced complications: one thermal injury of the sciatic root provoking postoperative leg palsy and one chylous ascites. The woman with the thermal injury has recovered most leg function with physiotherapy and the woman with chylous ascites recovered within 2 weeks, slightly delaying the adjuvant treatment. All women were discharged within 4 days from the operation (range 2-4). Pathology reports confirmed the presence of tumour metastases and the lymph nodes size. The adjuvant treatment started at a median time of 12 days (range 3-22). Conclusion Debulking of large pelvic and para-aortic lymph nodes was effectively accomplished by laparoscopy in all 22 women with 9% complication rate. The surgical outcome is similar to historical series on women operated on by laparotomy, with the advantage of a faster recovery and an early start of adjuvant treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-692
Number of pages5
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • Bulky
  • Cervical cancer
  • Laparoscopy
  • Lymph nodes
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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