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Rates over time and regional variation of radical minimally invasive surgery for cervical cancer: a population based study

Willows K, Kupets R, Diong C, Vicus D, Covens A, Gien LT. Gynecol Oncol. 2019; Jun 3 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2019.05.019.


Objective — Determine rates of radical minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for cervix cancer in Ontario, and whether these rates varied over time and by region. Assess whether changes in the use of MIS impacted length of hospital stay and readmissions.

Methods — Retrospective population-based cohort study of women undergoing radical surgery for cervical cancer between 2002 and 2015. Radical MIS versus laparotomy were compared. Trends in rate of MIS over time, length of hospital stay, and readmission within 30 days were determined. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with MIS approach.

Results — 805 women underwent radical abdominal surgery versus 538 radical minimally invasive surgery. Radical MIS increased over the study period, from 17.7% in 2002 to 61.5% in 2015. The most significant predictor of MIS approach was hospital site, with a 14-fold difference in sites with highest and lowest uptake of MIS. Mean length of hospital stay was significantly shorter after radical MIS compared to radical abdominal surgery (1.1 v. 4.2 days). Hospital readmission within 30 days was reduced over the study period for MIS but remained stable following abdominal surgery.

Conclusions — Although rates of radical MIS increased in Ontario over the time period studied, this seems to have been driven by a few high volume centres. Cervical cancer is rare and it takes time to develop the skills to carry out the procedure effectively. Abandonment of minimally invasive radical hysterectomy may have a significant impact on surgical training and subsequent proficiency in the skills unique to this procedure.

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