Keyhole surgery may be riskier for cervical cancer, studies find

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By Maggie Fox

Keyhole surgery seemed like a no-brainer to Jeanine Andersson when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year.

A hysterectomy was her best option but the 45-year-old orthopedic surgeon had two choices: “Either the traditional, what they call open laparotomy, (in which they) kind of slice you vertically down the front, take everything out, and set you back up and it’s a six to eight week recovery,” Andersson said.

The other was minimally invasive, robotic surgery. “Recovery was two, maybe three weeks. I would be back to work and to me it was a no-brainer,” Andersson told NBC News.

Her friends who specialized in gynecology urged her to go the minimally invasive route. “I chose minimally invasive thinking it was the best, latest and greatest and best thing to do,” Andersson said.

But a year and a half later, her cancer was back. And now two stunning new studies show that the common wisdom may have been wrong.

Keyhole surgery, which has become the standard for many different kinds of operations, may be more dangerous for women with cervical cancer.