Fertility sparing surgery for treatment of early-stage cervical cancer: Open vs. robotic radical trachelectomy

Alpa M. Nick, Michael M. Frumovitz, Pamela T. Soliman, Kathleen M. Schmeler, Pedro T. Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the open versus robotic surgical approaches and provide surgical outcome data on patients who have undergone radical trachelectomy (RT). Methods: We identified patients who underwent open (ORT) or robotic radical trachelectomy (RRT) between September 2005 and June 2011. Tumor characteristics, perioperative, operative and obstetrical outcomes were analyzed. Results: Thirty-seven patients with early stage cervical cancer that desired future fertility underwent attempted radical trachelectomy, and 32 patients (20 with 1B1, 11 with 1A2, and 5 with 1A1 with LVSI/poorly differentiated histology) had successful completion of RT. Five (1 open/4 robotic) underwent conversion to radical hysterectomy secondary to close (< 5 mm) endocervical margin (p = 0.08). The median age at diagnosis was 28.9 years (range; 21.4-37.2), 70% were nulliparous, and 9 had a visible lesion. Twenty-five patients (68%) underwent ORT and 12 (32%) underwent RRT. RRT was associated with less blood loss (62.5 mL vs. 300 mL, p = 0.0001) and decreased length of postoperative stay (1 vs. 4 days, p < 0.001), with no difference in operative time or histopathologic outcomes. Twenty-three patients (62%) had no residual cervical disease on final pathology. Common long-term morbidities were irregular menstrual bleeding or amenorrhea (25%), cerclage erosion (13%), or cervical stenosis (9%). Although there was a higher rate of conversion to hysterectomy in the robotic surgery cohort, rates of serious morbidities among the cohorts were comparable (robotic: 33% vs. open: 24%, p = 0.70). Eleven (36%) patients are actively attempting pregnancy and three have achieved pregnancy. The median time of follow up is 17.0 months (range 0.30-64.9 months). There are no documented recurrences. Conclusions: RRT results in less blood loss and decreased length of hospital stay with no compromise in histopathologic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-280
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Radical trachelectomy
  • Robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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