Women's Services Encyclopedia
Laparoscopy and Cancer
The use of laparoscopy in the treatment, evaluation and staging of cancers of the female reproductive tract is one that is constantly evolving.
Although its use is well-recognized in some situations, it is not indicated in all situations.
Individuals who are overweight (based on height and weight) may not qualify for a laparoscopic approach.
The following gives a general overview but each patient’s situation is unique and must be evaluated on an individual basis.
- Node Sampling: to aid in determining the extent of tumoral spread so that radiation treatment can be more accurately directed. It also has been
used therapeutically to remove enlarged nodes, but this is a controversial area.
- To aid in the placement of radioactive needles for individuals with large tumors.
- To convert an abdominal approach to a vaginal hysterectomy in individuals with early stage tumors who are appropriate candidates.
Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer
For surgical staging and treatment in individuals who are candidates and whose body size is appropriate (based on height and weight), they may
qualify for a laparoscopic hysterectomy, removal of the tubes and ovaries, and lymphadenectomy.
- Evaluation of anexal masses.
- In selected individuals who are unexpectedly found to have a small cancer of the ovary when the ovary was removed for other reasons, complete
staging to determine if chemotherapy is required.
- To document or rule out recurrent disease.
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