Tumor spill during surgical treatment is associated with adverse oncologic outcomes in many solid tumors. However, in minimally invasive hysterectomy for endometrial cancer, intraoperative tumor spill has not been well studied. This study examined surgeon experiences and practices related to intraoperative tumor spill during minimally invasive hysterectomy for endometrial cancer.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted to the Society of Gynecologic Oncology. Participants were 220 U.S. gynecologic oncologists practicing minimally invasive hysterectomy for endometrial cancer. Interventions were 20 questions regarding surgeon demographics, surgical practice patterns (fallopian tubal ablation/ligation, intra-uterine manipulator use, and colpotomy approach), and tumor spill experience (uterine perforation with intra-uterine manipulator and tumor exposure during colpotomy).
Nearly half of the responding surgeons completed subspeciality training >10 years ago (50.5%), and 74.1% had annual surgical volume of >40 cases. The majority of surgeons used an intra-uterine manipulator during minimally invasive hysterectomies for endometrial cancer (90.1%), and 87.2% of the users have experienced uterine perforation with an intra-uterine manipulator. Almost all surgeons performed colpotomy laparoscopically (95.9%), and nearly 60% had experienced tumor spill while making colpotomy (59.8%). Nearly 10-15% of surgeons have changed their postoperative therapy as a result of intraoperative uterine perforation (11.8%) or tumor spill (14.5%). Surgeons infrequently ablated or ligated fallopian tubes prior to performing the hysterectomy (14.1%).
Our survey study suggests that many surgeons experienced intraoperative tumor spillage during minimally invasive hysterectomy for endometrial cancer. These findings warrant further studies examining its incidence and impact on clinical outcomes.
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