For cervical cancer patients, open surgery may actually be safer than minimally invasive operations, a new study suggests.
In the earliest stages of cervical cancer, a hysterectomy – a surgery to remove the entire female reproductive system, including the uterus, cervix and other tissues – is the standard treatment for the disease.
Physicians have widely adopted laproscopic hysterectomies, which allow them to cut away the diseased tissue through a small incision, meaning quicker recovery times and less pain and scarring.
The operation has even been preferable to many physicians, but a new pair of studies from Massachusetts General Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center found that minimally invasive surgeries raised the risk of death 65 percent.
The finding came as a shock to the researchers, who have no idea why laproscopic surgeries would lead to higher death risks later.
Cervical cancer is best treated with a hysterectomy in its early stages, but minimally invasive versions of the surgery put women at greater risks of death years later
In the US, cervical cancer is relatively rare, striking 13,240 women a year.
But it is a dangerous one: 4,170 women die of the disease a year.
Doctors and diagnostic tools – mainly, pap smears given to women during regular gynecological check-ups – have drastically improved, helping us catch cells that would become cancerous before they do.
For women with pre-cancerous pap smears or early stages of the disease, a ‘radical’ hysterectomy to remove the diseased tissue and a fairly wide margin around it to ensure that all of the dangerous cells are gone.
Laproscopy, a technique that uses a tiny camera and light through which doctors see the surgical cite inside the body and operate with tiny tools, was first performed in 1910.
In the 1990s, a New York doctor developed a method of performing hysterectomies laproscopically.
Hysterectomies are considered major surgery, though less than on percent of patients die in the procedure.
Since then, it has become the go-to strategy for gynecologists and surgeons.
Now, the majority of hysterectomies – whether performed to treat