To determine the feasibility, safety, limiting factors, and advantages of laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadenectomy in a series of patients with gynecologic malignancies.Methods:
During a 2-year period, 61 women underwent laparoscopic para-aortic lymph node dissection as part of their management for invasive gynecologic malignancies. A transperitoneal incision directly over the aorta was used. Initially, only the right-side infra-inferior mesenteric artery nodes were removed. The technique of removal of left-side low para-aortic nodes was then developed, followed by the technique for removal of right- and left-side nodes above the transverse duodenum. A total of 52 right para-aortic lymphadenectomies were performed, 12 of which were combined with left-side lymphadenectomies. A total of 17 left-side lymphadenectomies were performed, 12 of which were bilateral. Four patients had nodes removed above the inferior mesenteric artery.Results:
The procedure could not be performed in four instances because of obesity or adhesions. Twenty-four patients had their laparoscopic surgery combined with another procedure, which increased their hospital stays: radical hysterectomy (five), laparoscopy-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (17), transperineal interstitial irradiation (one), and anterior-posterior colporrhaphy (one). The remaining 33 patients had laparoscopic surgical staging only. One patient required laparotomy to control bleeding from the vena cava; however, the others had no short- or long-term complications, and the average hospital stay was 1.3 days.Conclusion:
Laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadenectomy is a safe, effective procedure that allows a shorter hospitalization than traditional laparotomy.