Second-look laparotomy after chemotherapy in the management of ovarian malignancy

Lynda R. Smirz, Frederick B. Stehman, Thomas M. Ulbright, Gregory P. Sutton, Clarence E. Ehrlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations


Eighty-eight patients with ovarian malignancy underwent second-look laparotomy as part of their plan of management at Indiana University Hospital. Thirty-five patients (39.8%) were found to have no gross or microscopic evidence of persistent neoplasm, and an additional 16 (18.2%) had only microscopic tumor. Patients with initial Stage III or IV disease were less likely to have negative findings at laparotomy than were patients with Stage I or II disease. A complete initial cytoreductive operation (residual disease = 0 cm) correlated positively with negative findings at laparotomy. Endometrioid histologic findings were associated with a favorable condition at the second look, but tumor grade was associated with superior survival only for patients with grade 0 disease. Eight of 30 patients (26.7%) with invasive carcinoma and negative findings at second-look laparotomy have had tumor recurrence (2 to 63 months), and five of eight have died. Intraperitoneal chronic phosphorus salvage therapy for patients with microscopic disease was promising, with eight of 15 treated patients (53.3%) alive after therapy, with no evidence of disease from 16 to 56 months after the second look. Second-look laparotomy has been the major determinant of continued or alternative therapy for patients with ovarian malignancy. Second-look laparotomy has been incorporated into the standard management plan without a formal clinical trial. The need for a second look may be reduced by identifying patients who do not benefit from the procedure. Patients with persistent disease confirmed by noninvasive means can continue therapy without laparotomy. There is also a subgroup of patients with a favorable prognosis whose therapy could be safely discontinued without laparotomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-668
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985


  • Ovarian
  • carcinoma
  • laparotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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