Laparoscopic lymphocele fenestration in gynaecological cancer patients after retroperitoneal lymph node dissection as a first-line treatment option

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To evaluate laparoscopic lymphocele fenestration (LLF) as a first-line treatment in gynaecological cancer patients with a history of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (LND).


Retrospective cohort study.


A tertiary referral centre.


Patients who underwent LLF between January 2001 and December 2010 for a symptomatic lymphocele following retroperitoneal LND.


Surgical outcomes of 102 patients who underwent LLF at our hospital between January 2001 and December 2010 were analysed. Patients were identified using hospital database search software, and hand-written and electronic charts were reviewed.

Main outcome measures

Outcomes included operating time, blood loss, conversion rate, intra- and postoperative complication rates, hospital stay and relapse rate.


A total of 132 lymphoceles were fenestrated in 102 patients. The mean duration of surgery was 115.6 minutes and the average intraoperative blood loss per patient was 146 ml. The overall conversion rate to laparotomy was 7.8%. Intra- and postoperative complication rates were estimated at 9.8 and 5.9%, respectively. The rate of intraoperative and postoperative complications was significantly higher in patients after pelvic plus paraaortic LND (23.8%), compared with those after pelvic LND only (3.6%; P > 0.01). The mean follow-up time was 60.4 months and a total of seven symptomatic recurrences of lymphoceles were observed (a recurrence rate of 6.9%).


For the treatment of symptomatic lymphoceles, LLF has previously been established as an efficient first-line treatment option in a post-transplant context. Our data suggest that these favourable results for LLF may be transferable to gynaecological cancer patients.

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