Uterine Cancer? Maybe a Robot Can Help

Uterine cancer requiring a hysterectomy can be performed successfully by a robot

(RxWiki News) Removal of the uterus with minimally invasive robot assistance can be just as effective as traditional surgery. But is the risk any higher for the cancer to return?

A recent study looked at success rates for robot-aided hysterectomies in 372 patients with uterine cancer. The study’s results showed an 89 percent success rate for at least 3 cancer-free years.

"Talk to your oncologist about the best treatment for you."

Lorna A. Brudie, DO, FACOOG, director of gynecologic robotic surgery at Monmouth Medical Center in New Jersey, led colleagues in investigating the success of robotic surgery for uterine cancer.

For the study, 372 women who underwent robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy (RALH) between 2006-2009 in which the uterus was removed due to cancer were reviewed for success rates.

Both time frames for cancer-free years after surgery and overall years of life were accounted for in each patient.

Only 4 percent of the RALH procedures removed the uterus alone, 26 percent also removed the pelvic lymph nodes and 68 percent removed both pelvic and aortic lymph nodes.

Further chemotherapy, brachytherapy and/or radiation therapy were prescribed for 29 percent of the patients.

A total of 8 percent of the initial group died within 1 year after surgery, 8 percent of the remaining group had cancer recurrence and 5 percent died from uterine cancer after 3 years.

Overall, 89 percent of patients lived 3 years cancer-free and lived at least 5 years after the procedure. 

This study was published in November in Gynecologic Oncology.

Dr. Robert W. Holloway is a training consultant for Intuitive Surgical Inc. All other co-authors declare that there are no other conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
November 30, 2012