Older age is a relevant risk factor for developing endometrial cancer (EC) and has been traditionally regarded as a relative contraindication to laparoscopy. Our aim was to analyze the safety and effectiveness of laparoscopic staging in older women with EC.
Consecutive women aged 75 years or older who underwent laparoscopic staging for EC between May 2002 and October 2012 were compared with consecutive women aged 75 years or older who underwent abdominal staging before the adoption of the laparoscopic approach in our institution. Postoperative complications were graded according to the Accordion Severity Grading System.
Fifty-nine women aged 75 years or older who underwent laparoscopy were compared with a cohort of 66 women aged 75 years or older who underwent open staging before the incorporation of laparoscopy. Demographic and disease characteristics, as well as the Charlson comorbidity index, were balanced between groups. Women who underwent laparoscopy had similar operative time (P = 0.14), lower blood loss (P = 0.005), and shorter length of stay (P < 0.001) in comparison with women who underwent open surgical operation. Overall, women who underwent laparoscopy experienced less postoperative complications than women in the control group (P < 0.001). In addition, focusing only on complications grade 3 or higher, we observed a trend toward decreased complication rates in the laparoscopic group (P = 0.06). No differences in survival outcomes (including time of recurrence, site of recurrence, disease-free survival, and overall survival) were recorded (P > 0.05).
Our findings suggest that EC patients older than 75 years may benefit from minimally invasive surgical operation and should not be denied laparoscopy based on mere chronological age.