FIGO classification is commonly used for staging of locally advanced cervical cancer. Laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadenectomy is currently used as a diagnostic tool, since we know that presence of para-aortic lymph node metastases identifies patients with poor prognosis. The application of robotics during this procedure needs to be investigated.Design
Retrospective multi-center study.Setting
Three centers participated in building one database.Population
Thirty-seven patients with locally advanced cervical cancer underwent a robot-assisted laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadenectomy.Methods
Patients were prospectively enrolled in one register. Retrospective analysis of the whole database was performed.Main outcome measures
Surgical outcomes of the robot-assisted procedure and follow-up data.Results
Median number of lymph nodes collected was 27.5 (1–54) per patient. Five of 37 patients had para-aortic node metastases. The false negative rate for PET-CT diagnosing para-aortic node metastases was 11.4% (4/35). Two major intra-operative complications occurred (5.4%). Postoperative morbidity was low (13.5%). Median follow-up was 27 months [95% confidence interval (95% CI) was 24–30]. Median disease-free survival was 16 months (95% CI 2.4–29.6). Patients with negative nodes had a median disease-free survival of 24 months (not assessable), although patients with positive nodes had a median disease-free survival of 9 months (95% CI 6.9–11.9).Conclusions
In this series we report that robot-assisted laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadencetomy provided the surgeon with useful information, diagnosing 11.4% of occult para-aortic lymph node metastases in women with locally advanced cervical cancer. Intra-operative and postoperative morbidity were low. The presence of para-aortic lymph node metastases correlated with shorter disease-free survival.