Laparoscopic Para-Aortic Lymphadenectomy in Gynecologic Malignancies

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To determine the feasibility, safety, limiting factors, and advantages of laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadenectomy in a series of patients with gynecologic malignancies.


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.


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.


Laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadenectomy is a safe, effective procedure that allows a shorter hospitalization than traditional laparotomy.

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