Objective: To determine the optimal diagnostic and therapeutic modalities relevant to episiotomy site recurrence of cervical cancer after vaginal delivery.
Methods: Records from the past 30 years were reviewed to identify patients treated at the Mayo Clinic with episiotomy site recurrence of cervical cancer complicated by pregnancy with vaginal delivery.
Results: Four patients with episiotomy site recurrence of squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix were treated primarily at the Mayo Clinic. These cervical cancers were originally diagnosed at delivery or in the immediate postpartum period and were treated by radical hysterectomy. Episiotomy site recurrences were detected less than 12 weeks after surgery in three patients and at 2 years in one patient. Three patients have died of recurrent cancer and one is disease-free at 1 year.
Conclusions: Careful screening and examination of cervical abnormalities during pregnancy is required. The primary cancer was not diagnosed until delivery or postpartum in all patients who developed episiotomy site recurrences. If vaginal delivery is elected in a patient with cervical cancer, perineal inspection becomes critical. Including other cases reported in the literature, six of nine with stage IB disease were diagnosed with episiotomy site recurrence within 12 weeks of primary therapy. Consideration should be given to colposcopy of the episiotomy site or random biopsy in these women preoperatively to rule out occult implantation, and this site warrants careful postoperative surveillance.
© 1994 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists