For Early Cervical Cancer, Open Hysterectomy is Safer than Minimally Invasive Surgery

A new study shows that women with early-stage cervical cancer who underwent minimally invasive hysterectomy had a 65 percent higher risk of death compared with those who had open surgery. The study, which belies the general assumption that minimally invasive surgery is safer than conventional “open” surgery, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported by the Columbia University Irving Medical Center Newsroom

“We suspected that there might be a difference in survival between the two approaches, but the extent of the difference was surprising,” says co-principal investigator Jason D. Wright, MD, associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and chief of gynecologic oncology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “Our findings suggest that minimally invasive surgery may not be appropriate for many patients with early-stage cervical cancer.”

Each year, about 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Most women with early-stage disease are treated with radical hysterectomy, which involves removing the uterus, cervix, and surrounding tissues. (Women with advanced cervical cancer are typically treated with radiation in conjunction with chemotherapy.) To read the full article, visit CUIMC Newsroom. 

Dr. Wright's study was recenlty featured in several leading media outlets, including The New York Times, Associated Press and Reuters. Dr. Wright also is a member of Columbia's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) and a nationally recognized expert in the treatment of gynecologic cancers and gynecologic surgery.