A pilot study of lower extremity lymphedema, lower extremity function, and quality of life in women after minimally invasive endometrial cancer staging surgery.
OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of this study was to pilot the use of an objective measurement technique to prospectively evaluate the incidence of lower extremity lymphedema (LEL) after minimally invasive staging surgery for endometrial cancer. Secondary objectives included observation of changes in lower extremity function and quality of life in this patient population. METHODS: A prospective evaluation of LEL was performed in 97 women who underwent minimally invasive staging surgery for endometrial cancer using comparative circumferential volume measurements. Postoperative changes in lower extremity function and global quality of life were also assessed using patient-reported outcome measures. RESULTS: Ninety-seven patients were included for lymphedema analysis. The rate of LEL was 25% at 4-6 weeks, 19% at 6-9 months, and 27% at 12-18 months postoperatively. The presence of LEL was associated with a significant worsening from baseline Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) scores at 4-6 weeks (-27.0% vs -3.7%, p = 0.02) and 6-9 months (-13.0% vs 0%, p = 0.01). LEL was not associated with a change in patient-reported global quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: Up to one in four women experience lymphedema following surgical staging for endometrial cancer, and its presence is associated with diminished lower extremity function. Larger, prospective trials using the objective methodology piloted in this study should better clarify risk factors and long-term outcomes of this morbidity.
Watson, CH; Lopez-Acevedo, M; Broadwater, G; Kim, AH; Ehrisman, J; Davidson, BA; Lee, PS; Valea, F; Berchuck, A; Havrilesky, LJ
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