Use of Low-Thrombin Fibrin Sealant Glue After Axillary Lymphadenectomy for Breast Cancer to Reduce Hospital Length and Seroma

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Abstract

Background

Axillary lymphadenectomy for primary breast cancer produces a non-negligible rate of postoperative lymphorrhea, prolonged hospital stays, and multiple seroma punctures. We evaluated the impact of low-thrombin fibrin sealant glue on surgical wounds in patients undergoing axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer.

Methods

We conducted an observational study of 149 patients who underwent axillary lymphadenectomy for primary breast cancer between January 2014 and December 2015. Data were obtained from 2 successive prospective studies. The hospital stay length and morbidity (seromas, punctures) were compared between 2 groups: patients who had padding sutures and low-thrombin fibrin sealant glue without drainage (n = 49) and patients with drainage alone (n = 100). Hospital costs were assessed from the hospital perspective.

Results

The mean hospital stay length was shorter in the fibrin sealant group (2.6 vs. 4.7 days; P < .001). Seroma magnitude and punctures were similar in patients treated with fibrin sealant compared with patients with drainage alone. The rate of needle aspiration for seroma was similar irrespective of whether or not a drain or fibrin sealant was used (30.6% vs. 33.0%, P = .77).

Conclusion

Low-thrombin fibrin sealant glue does not significantly reduce the amount of fluid produced in the axilla after breast surgery; however, its systematic use may help reduce hospital stays and costs.

Micro-Abstract

A prospective evaluation of 149 axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) procedures in 2 groups using either drainage or a drainless procedure with fibrin glue and a padding technique was performed. No difference was observed in seroma punctures, but an interesting significantly reduced postoperative hospital stay length. Quilting sutures and fibrin glue after ALND is a promising technique for reducing hospital stays and costs.

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