Clinical outcomes in endometrial cancer care when the standard of care shifts from open surgery to robotics.
ABSTRACT In Singapore, the standard of care for endometrial cancer staging remains laparotomy. Since the introduction of gynecologic robotic surgery, there have been more data comparing robotic surgery to laparoscopy in the management of endometrial cancer. This study reviewed clinical outcomes in endometrial cancer in a program that moved from laparotomy to robotic surgery.
A retrospective review was performed on 124 consecutive endometrial cancer patients. Preoperative data and postoperative outcomes of 34 patients undergoing robotic surgical staging were compared with 90 patients who underwent open endometrial cancer staging during the same period and in the year before the introduction of robotics.
There were no significant differences in the mean age, body mass index, rates of diabetes, hypertension, previous surgery, parity, medical conditions, size of specimens, histologic type, or stage of cancer between the robotic and the open surgery groups. The first 20 robotic-assisted cases had a mean (SD) operative time of 196 (60) minutes, and the next 14 cases had a mean time of 124 (64) minutes comparable to that for open surgery. The mean number of lymph nodes retrieved during robot-assisted staging was smaller than open laparotomy in the first 20 cases but not significantly different for the subsequent 14 cases. Robot-assisted surgery was associated with lower intraoperative blood loss (110  vs 250  mL, P < 0.05), a lower rate of postoperative complications (8.8% vs 26.8%, P = 0.032), a lower wound complication rate (0% vs 9.9%, P = 0.044), a decreased requirement for postoperative parenteral analgesia (5.9% vs 51.1, P < 0.001), and shorter length of hospitalization (2.0 [1.1] vs 6.0 [4.5] days, P < 0.001) compared to patients in the open laparotomy group.
Our series shows that outcomes traditionally associated with laparoscopic endometrial cancer staging are achievable by laparoscopy-naive gynecologic cancer surgeons moving from laparotomy to robot-assisted endometrial cancer staging after a relatively small number of cases.