Minimally invasive surgery has been performed since the early 1990s, and gynecologic oncology surgeons continue to improve their skills for this procedure. Advanced laparoscopic techniques are used to evaluate and treat cervical, endometrial, and ovarian malignancies. Laparoscopy has significant benefits in selected oncologic patients and may be a more useful technique than the abdominal approach. The benefits of laparoscopy include less postoperative pain, less blood loss, shorter length of hospital stay, and a shorter recovery period with no significant increase in complications or morbidity. With emerging data, it appears that the risk of cancer recurrence does not increase with a minimally invasive approach. The incorporation of laparoscopic pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy has expanded the types of procedures performed for the management of certain gynecologic malignancies. New techniques, including hand-assisted laparoscopic procedures and extraperitoneal lymph node dissections, are expanding the role of laparoscopy in the treatment of all gynecologic malignancies.
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