Objective: Total laparoscopic nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy (TL-NSRH) has been considered a promising approach, however, surgical, clinical, oncological and functional outcomes have not been systematically addressed. We present a large retrospective multicenter experience comparing TL-NSRH vs. open abdominal NSRH (OA-NSRH) for early and locally-advanced cervical cancer, with particular emphasis on post-surgical pelvic function.Methods: All consecutive patients who underwent class Cl-NSRH plus bilateral pelvic + paraaortic lymphadenectomy for stage IA2-IIB cervical cancer at 4 Italian gynecologic oncologic centers (Negrar, Varese, Bologna, Avellino) were enrolled. Patients were divided into TL-NSRH and OA-NSRH groups and were investigated with preoperative questionnaires on urinary, rectal and sexual function. Postoperatively, patients filled a questionnaire assessing quality of life, taking into account sexual function and psychological status. Oncological outcomes were analyzed using Kaplan-Meyer method.Results: 301 consecutive patients were included in this study: 170 in the TL-NSRH group and 131 in the OA-NSRH group. Patients in the OA-NSRH group were more likely to experience urinary incontinence and (after 12-months follow-up) urinary retention. No patient in the TL-NSRH group vs. 5 (5.5%) in the OA-NSRH group had complete urinary retention (at the >24-month follow-up (p=0.02)). A total of 20 (11.8%) in the TL-NSRH and 11 (8.4%) patients in the OA-NSRH had recurrence of disease (p=0.44) and 14 (8.2%) and 9 (6.9%) died of disease during follow-up, respectively (p=0.83).Conclusion: Our study shows that TL-NSRH is feasible, safe and effective and conjugates adequate radicality and improvement in post-operative functional outcomes. Oncological outcomes of laparoscopic procedures deserve further investigation.
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