Restricted surgical management of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia 3: Focus on exclusion of invasion and on relief of symptoms

Authors


van Beurden MD Department of Gynecology, Academic Medical Centre, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

van Beurden M, van der Vange N, ten Kate FJW, de Craen AJM, Schilthuis MS, Lammes FB. Restricted surgical management of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia 3: Focus on exclusion of invasion and on relief of symptoms. Int J Gynecol Cancer 1998; 8: 73–77.

A study was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of extensive and restricted surgery for vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) 3. All consecutive patients with VIN 3 admitted to a tertiary referral hospital were included. The main outcome measures were relief and recurrence of symptoms and progression to invasive disease in patients with VIN 3 after extensive or restricted surgery. Of every vulvoscopic visible lesion a biopsy was taken to establish extent and grade of VIN and to rule out invasive carcinoma. Patients with unifocal VIN 3 underwent extensive surgery. Patients with multifocal VIN 3 underwent extensive or restricted surgery or an expectant management was adopted, depending on the existence of symptoms and the presence of invasive vulvar carcinoma. Forty-seven patients were evaluated. Eighty-three percent of patients had a long history of symptoms. Eight patients (17%) had unifocal VIN 3. In 9% of the patients a superficially invasive vulvar carcinoma was found, ie with a depth of invasion of 1 mm or less. Only 20% of the extensively operated patients had free surgical margins. There was recurrence of symptoms in all of the extensively operated patients, in contrast to a 26% persistence or recurrence rate of symptoms in the restrictedly operated patients. In patients with multifocal VIN 3 who underwent restricted surgery, young age of the patient (P = 0.02) and large extension of VIN 3 (P = 0.02) were significant factors in predicting persistence or recurrence of symptoms. Only once was a superficially invasive vulvar carcinoma diagnosed during follow-up, and this was in an extensively operated patient. Vulvoscopically directed biopsies in VIN 3 are a safe method to exclude invasive disease. Restricted surgery is effective in relieving symptoms in multifocal VIN 3.

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