European Journal of Cancer vol:40 issue:3 pages:375-378
Quality control of medical performance requires adequate 'state-of-the-art' data and this is currently not uniformly defined for radical hysterectomy. We have used data from a randomised multicentre clinical trial examining the clinical significance of surgical drains following radical hysterectomy (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)-55962). Although the study was not designed to analyse the quality of the surgical procedure per se, surgical data during and after the operation were carefully noted. A total of 234 patients from 12 European institutes were included in the study. We reported on the clinical and surgical characteristics, the radicality of surgery and short- and long-term complications of radical hysterectomy: median duration of surgery: 240 min; median number of nodes removed: 26; lymph node metastases: 22%; post-operative mortality: <1%; urinary tract infection: 42%; deep venous thrombosis: 3%; fistula: 2%. The data from our study provides an honest and realistic picture of the current practice of radical hysterectomy among European oncology centres and may be considered as the 'standard of care' in this part of the world.