Objective. Panniculectomy has been used to facilitate pelvic surgery in obese women. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of panniculectomy on staging adequacy and lymph node yield in obese women with endometrial carcinoma undergoing staging laparotomy. Methods. A retrospective review of patients with endometrial neoplasms who underwent panniculectomy at the time of hysterectomy was performed. For each subject, two control patients were matched by body mass index (BMI). Results. Twenty-seven endometrial cancer patients who underwent panniculectomy at the time of staging were identified. Panniculectomy was successfully performed in all 27 patients. While the mean number of pelvic nodes was statistically similar between the two groups (16.2 vs. 13.7) (P = 0.199), the paraaortic node count was higher in patients who underwent panniculectomy (4.3 vs. 2.9) (P = 0.032). A paraaortic node dissection was not feasible in 3 (11.1%) of the panniculectomy patients and in 11 (20.4%) of the controls (P = 0.365). There were no differences in intraoperative or postoperative complications or in survival between the two groups. Conclusion. Among obese women with endometrial cancer, panniculectomy is well tolerated, feasible, and associated with acceptable morbidity. While the clinical significance of an increased paraaortic node count is uncertain, our findings suggest that panniculectomy may enhance operative exposure and facilitate endometrial cancer staging.
- Lymph node