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Open Access Special Issue

A review of robotic surgery in the management of recurrent ovarian carcinoma: indication and techniques

  • Peter C. Lim1,*,

1Center of Hope, Department of Pelvic Surgery, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV 89511, USA

DOI: 10.22514/ejgo.2022.030 Vol.43,Issue 4,August 2022 pp.1-11

Submitted: 20 January 2022 Accepted: 23 March 2022

Published: 15 August 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radical Surgery in Ovarian Cancer)

*Corresponding Author(s): Peter C. Lim E-mail:


Background: Treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer may consist of salvage chemother-apy or secondary cytoreductive surgery. Retrospective studies suggest that radical secondary cytoreduction resulting in no macroscopic disease (R0) after completion of surgery benefits patients and prolongs survival. The role of robotic-assisted secondary cytoreductive surgery (RASCS) is in its infancy. The aim of this manuscript is to review the literature regarding the role, the indication, and the techniques of RASCS and to summarize the published perioperative, postoperative, and oncologic outcomes of RASCS. Methods: A comprehensive systemic review was conducted in the PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases from 1 January 1980 through 31 December 2021. Keywords searched were “ovarian cancer”, “recurrence”, “robotic-assisted secondary debulking/cytoreductive surgery”, “morbidity and mortality of secondary cytoreductive surgery”, “indications for secondary cytoreductive”, and combinations of these terms. Studies selected and analyzed included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as well as prospective and retrospective anlayses and case series. RASCS procedures and techniques are described. Results: Several retrospectives, meta-analyses and prospective randomized trials suggest that optimal secondary cytoreductive surgery is associated with extended progression-free and overall survival. Preoperative selection criteria, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) criteria and AGO (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynaekologische Onkologie) scores demonstrate that clinical-pathological factors can predict optimal secondary cytoreductive surgery and correlate with improved progression-free survival and overall survival. The surgical procedures that are required in secondary cytoreductive surgery can be complex. Limited retrospective studies have demonstrated that secondary cytoreductive surgery utilizing a robotic surgical platform can achieve the same rate of optimal cytoreductive surgery as open laparotomy with decreased morbidity. The effect of RASCS on progression-free and overall survival has not been established. Conclusions: Early literature reports indicate that RASCS, in selected patients, can be applied for surgical treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer without compromising morbidity; long-term studies are warranted to determine the effect on progression-free and overall survival.


Recurrent ovarian cancer; Secondary cytoreductive surgery; Robotic-assisted secondary cytoreductive surgery; RASCS

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Peter C. Lim. A review of robotic surgery in the management of recurrent ovarian carcinoma: indication and techniques. European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology. 2022. 43(4);1-11.


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