Research finds open hysterectomy may be less risky option for cervical cancer surgery

Published: Nov. 7, 2018 at 4:02 PM EST
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Cervical cancer patients undergoing surgery might be quick to jump to the most minimally-invasive option. In fact, nearly 60% of all hysterectomies performed today are done laparoscopically or are robot-assisted. But two new studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine found those type of procedures may increase your likelihood of dying.

The radical hysterectomy is a recommended treatment for patients with early-stage cervical cancer. It involves the removal of a woman's uterus, cervix, and other reproductive organs.

The first study analyzed this surgery performed both as an open operation and as a minimally-invasive procedure. It found that the minimally-invasive procedure had a 9.1% risk of death. The open procedure only had a 5.3% risk.

A second study showed patients who underwent minimally-invasive surgeries were four times more likely to have cancer recurrence than those who had open surgeries.

The researchers aren't quite sure why the minimally-invasive operation is more unsafe, but they think it may have something to do with the carbon dioxide gas blown into the stomach cavity during surgery in order to inflate it and help doctors see.

If you had minimally-invasive surgery for cervical cancer over two years ago and have not had a recurrence, researchers say you probably shouldn't worry.