Self-assessment of morbidity following radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer.
MetadataShow full item record
The aim of this study was to assess the magnitude of the morbidity following radical surgery for early stage cervical cancer. We performed a retrospective survey of all women who had undergone a radical hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy between the months of July 1995 and December 1996 inclusive at either the Royal Marsden or St George's Hospital (n =38), using a detailed questionnaire on bladder, ano-rectal and sexual function, both before and after treatment. Sixteen women (44.4%) received adjuvant radiotherapy. The mean interval between surgery and inquiry was 16.4% months (range 8-25 months). The mean age at the time of surgery was 40.5 years. Thirty-six out of 38 women contacted responded (94.7%). Overall 33 women (91.7%) reported new bladder, ano-rectal or sexual symptoms. Complaints of urinary incontinence, particularly of urge incontinence, and of voiding difficulties increased significantly after surgery (P <0.05). However, only 5.3% of women had sought treatment. Tenesmus increased significantly (P <0.05), while increases in diarrhoea and faecal incontinence were not statistically significant (P =0.051). Although 12.9% of women stated an improvement in their sex lives, 54.8% thought that their sex life was worse after treatment, and 12.9% of women had ceased sexual activity altogether. Of women of childbearing age 53.8% felt adversely affected by their loss of fertility. Bladder, ano-rectal and sexual symptoms are very common following radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer, with adverse effect on quality of life, and persist into the second year after treatment.
License start date
Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology : the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1999, 19 (2), pp. 180 - 183