Morbid obesity and endometrial cancer: Surgical, clinical, and pathologic outcomes in surgically managed patients

James C. Pavelka, Inbar Ben-Shachar, Jeffrey M. Fowler, Nilsa C. Ramirez, Larry J. Copeland, Lynne A. Eaton, Tom P. Manolitsas, David E. Cohn

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91 Scopus citations


To evaluate surgical, clinical, and pathologic outcomes of patients with endometrial cancer managed with primary surgery when stratified by body mass index (BMI). A review of 356 consecutive patients undergoing primary surgical management of endometrial carcinoma by a single gynecologic oncology service from 1997 to 2003 was undertaken. Patients were divided into three groups based on preoperative BMI. Data regarding surgical and pathologic outcomes were compared. Twenty-two percent of patients had a BMI >40, 38% were 30-40, and 40% were <30. Overall, 90% underwent some surgical staging, including 93%, 92%, and 81% of those with a BMI <30, 30-40, and >40, respectively. In fully staged patients, a median 23 lymph nodes were removed in all groups, without a significant difference in the number of aortic nodes recovered between the heaviest and lightest groups. Aortic lymphadenectomy was performed in 48% patients with BMI >40 compared with 74% of patients with BMI <30. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were rare and similar between groups. Patients with BMI >40 were more commonly diagnosed with grade 1 tumor than patients with BMI <30. Rates of nodal metastasis were similar between groups and occurred in 11% of patients overall. In those with a BMI >40, extrauterine disease was encountered in 12% of patients. While surgical staging of morbidly obese patients is difficult, adequate lymphadenectomy can be performed safely; although aortic nodes are less commonly resected in this population. Staging remains important in obese women, as the risk of extrauterine disease, including lymph node metastasis, is similar to that in women with ideal body weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-592
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Lymphadenectomy
  • Obesity


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