The clinical application of laparoscopic surgery has grown rapidly over the last few years. Since the first documentations of laparoscopic lymphadenectomy, many reports highlight the use of modern laparoscopy in the field of gynecologic oncology. Laparoscopic treatment of early-stage cervical and endometrial cancer, and laparoscopic evaluation and staging of cervical, ovarian, and endometrial carcinomas, are feasible procedures. The place of minimal-access surgery in the arsenal of gynecologic oncological surgery has been established, especially after the recent developments and practical application of video laparoscopy, novel instrumentation, and advanced surgical techniques. Although operative laparoscopy in gynecologic oncology is still in its infancy the potentiality of the procedure is underscored. Many patients may benefit from the treatment or staging of gynecologic malignancies with laparoscopic means. Literature reports highlight that laparoscopy may be an effective procedure with lower morbidity and complication rates than traditional abdominal surgery. The short hospital stay and recovery time have a positive impact in a cancer patient's quality of life, as they return to normal activities rapidly. Many risks, though, may arise from the application of minimal-access surgery in cancer patients, and many questions regarding safety and efficacy need answers, based on prospective clinical trials. We must emphasize that such studies with large patient numbers and long-term follow-up are lacking. Until results from these trials are available, laparoscopic oncologic procedures should be performed only in an investigational setting by expert teams.
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