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Obesity & hysterectomy for cervical cancer

Obesity alone should not be a contraindication to radical hysterectomy in women with cervical cancer.

Obesity & hysterectomy for cervical cancer

Obesity alone should not be a contraindication to radical hysterectomy in women with cervical cancer. Obese women are often considered poor candidates for radical surgery and many surgeons believe obese women have greater rates of blood loss and post-operative complications. To judge intra-operative and post-operative outcomes of radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer in normal-weight, overweight, obese, and morbidly obese women, researchers from America studied 408 women who underwent radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer. Based on standard body mass index criteria, 155 (38 percent) women were normal weight, 126 (31 percent) were overweight, 77 (19 percent) were obese, and 50 (12 percent) were morbidly obese. Factors like age, illness, smoking status, cancer stage, grade, tumour size, or depth of invasion were taken into consideration. It was found that though the average estimated blood loss increased with weight, ranging from 500 milliliters for normal-weight women to 850 milliliters for the heaviest women, a difference that was statistically significant, this difference, however, did not appear to affect the outcome of surgery. Women in the different weight groups also had similar pathologic findings and rates of cervical cancer-related death over an average follow-up period of 64 months. The above findings show that radical hysterectomy with lymph node removal is feasible and can be a definitive treatment for early-stage cervical cancer in women who are morbidly obese and have no other significant conditions.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
October 2008
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