DENVER (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – Concomitantly treating pelvic floor disorders during surgery for gynecologic cancer does not increase the risk of postoperative complications, according to an analysis of 4 years of data from the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

Among 23,501 surgical gynecologic cancer patients, 556 (2.4%) underwent concomitant surgery for symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence, Katarzyna Bochenska, MD, reported in a poster at Pelvic Floor Disorders Week, sponsored by the American Urogynecologic Society. This subgroup had similar 30-day rates of reoperation, venous thromboembolism, and infectious, pulmonary, and cardiac complications as patients who had surgery only for gynecologic cancer, reported Dr. Bochenska and her associates at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Urinary incontinence and symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse often accompany gynecologic cancer, the researchers noted. In one study, more than half of women with gynecologic cancer reported urinary incontinence, while 11% described feeling a bulge of tissue from their vaginas ( Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Nov;122[5]:976-80 ). But few studies have examined outcomes after concomitant surgery for pelvic floor disorders and gynecologic cancer, according to the researchers.

In the current study, the Northwestern University researchers used postoperative ICD-9 codes to identify patients in the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program ( ACS NSQIP ) who underwent surgery for uterine, cervical, ovarian, or vulvar or vaginal cancer between 2010 and 2014. Most patients had uterine or ovarian cancer, while the most common pelvic floor disorder procedures included anterior and/or posterior colporrhaphy, laparoscopic colpopexy, and midurethral slings.

None of the complications studied differed significantly between the groups. Rates of 30-day reoperation were 1.1% among concomitant surgery patients and 2.3% among patients who underwent only cancer surgery (P = .09). Rates of procedure-related infections such as sepsis, deep wound infections, and abscesses also were similar between groups (3.1% and 3.9%, respectively), as were rates of postoperative urinary tract infections (1.8% and 3.2%), pulmonary complications (0.7% and 1.3%), and cardiac complications (0.2% and 0.4%), with all P-values exceeding .05.

Patients who underwent concomitant surgery for pelvic floor disorders were an average of about 3.5 years older than other patients, but otherwise resembled them in term of body mass index and prevalence of comorbidities, such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hypertension.

“Our data suggest that serious postoperative complication rates are not increased in this population,” the researchers concluded. “Therefore, gynecologic surgeons should consider offering concomitant treatment for pelvic floor symptoms at the time of gynecologic cancer surgery.”

Dr. Bochenska and her associates did not report information on funding sources or financial disclosures.


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