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OBJECTIVE: To introduce a systematic classification of diaphragmatic surgery in patients with ovarian cancer based on disease spread and surgical complexity. METHODS: For all consecutive patients who underwent diaphragmatic surgery during Visceral-Peritoneal debulking (VPD) in the period 2009-2017, we extracted: initial surgical finding, extent of liver mobilization and type of procedure. Combining these features, we aimed to classify the surgical procedures necessary to tackle different presentation of diaphragmatic disease. We also report histology, intra- and post-operative specific complication rate based on the classification. RESULTS: A total of 170 patients were included in this study, 110 (64.7%) had a peritonectomy, while 60 (35.3%) had a full thickness resection with pleurectomy. We identified 3 types of surgical procedures. Type I treated 28 out of 170 patients (16.5%) who only had anterior diaphragm disease, needed no liver mobilization, included peritonectomy and had no morbidity recorded. Type II pertained to 105 out of 170 patients (61.7%) who had anterior and posterior disease, needed partial and sometimes full liver mobilization, had a mix of peritonectomy and full thickness resection, and experienced 10% specific morbidity. Type III included 37 out of 170 patients (21.7%) who needed full mobilization of the liver, always had full thickness resection, and suffered 30% specific morbidity. CONCLUSION: Diaphragmatic surgery can be classified in 3 types. The adoption of this classification can facilitate standardization of the surgery, comparison of data and define the expertise required. Finally, this classification can be a benchmark to establish the training required to treat diaphragmatic disease.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gynecol Oncol

Publication Date





Classification, Diaphragm, Liver, Ovarian Cancer, Peritoneal Neoplasm/Surgery, Peritoneum/Surgery, Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures, Diaphragm, Female, Humans, Intraoperative Complications, Neoadjuvant Therapy, Neoplasm Staging, Ovarian Neoplasms, Peritoneum, Pleura, Postoperative Complications