Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States. Most women present with a tumor that appears clinically confined to the uterus. Identification of those with metastatic disease allows adjuvant therapy to be appropriately tailored.
Comprehensive surgical staging consists of hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and bilateral pelvic and para-aortic lymph node dissection. Patients are then assigned a stage according to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics system. Surgical technique has only recently evolved from vertical incision laparotomy to minimally invasive laparoscopy. Successful completion of laparoscopic staging results in fewer complications and shorter hospital stays when compared with laparotomy.