Chemotherapy After Debulking Surgery

Last Modified: May 20, 2007

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Following debulking surgery for advanced ovarian cancer, how soon should chemotherapy be commenced? Does early commencement compromise wound healing?

Answer

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

Following extensive debulking surgery, chemotherapy may start as soon as 7-10 days after surgery, if the patient's clinical status allows. Small studies of the effect of post-operative chemotherapy on wound healing show that there is no increased risk of wound infection following chemotherapy. Other factors such as surgical technique, body habitus, medical co-morbidities, etc may actually be more influential in wound healing than early commencement of chemotherapy.