Table of Contents
ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 312982, 11 pages
Review Article

Minimally Invasive Surgery in Gynecologic Oncology

Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 250 E. Superior Street, Suite 05-2168, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

Received 12 June 2013; Accepted 3 July 2013

Academic Editors: E. Cosmi and C. M. Peterson

Copyright © 2013 Kristina M. Mori and Nikki L. Neubauer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Minimally invasive surgery has been utilized in the field of obstetrics and gynecology as far back as the 1940s when culdoscopy was first introduced as a visualization tool. Gynecologists then began to employ minimally invasive surgery for adhesiolysis and obtaining biopsies but then expanded its use to include procedures such as tubal sterilization (Clyman (1963), L. E. Smale and M. L. Smale (1973), Thompson and Wheeless (1971), Peterson and Behrman (1971)). With advances in instrumentation, the first laparoscopic hysterectomy was successfully performed in 1989 by Reich et al. At the same time, minimally invasive surgery in gynecologic oncology was being developed alongside its benign counterpart. In the 1975s, Rosenoff et al. reported using peritoneoscopy for pretreatment evaluation in ovarian cancer, and Spinelli et al. reported on using laparoscopy for the staging of ovarian cancer. In 1993, Nichols used operative laparoscopy to perform pelvic lymphadenectomy in cervical cancer patients. The initial goals of minimally invasive surgery, not dissimilar to those of modern medicine, were to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with surgery and therefore improve patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. This review will summarize the history and use of minimally invasive surgery in gynecologic oncology and also highlight new minimally invasive surgical approaches currently in development.