Laparoscopic Hilar Lymph Node Sampling in Patients With Biliary Tract Cancers That are Rarely Associated With Nodal Metastasis

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Among the various types of biliary tract cancer, patients with single, small (<5 cm), peripheral intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), or small (<2 cm) gallbladder tumors (GBTs) rarely develop lymph node (LN) metastasis. We investigated a laparoscopic approach for hilar LN sampling in such cases.


Among the 176 patients with biliary tract cancer who were treated from January 2012 to March 2017, 21 (ICC, n=4; GBT, n=17) met the above indications.


All patients were treated by a laparoscopic approach with R0 resection. After determining the pathologic diagnosis, 9 patients with GBT and all 4 patients with ICC underwent laparoscopic LN sampling; the mean numbers of sampled LNs were 2.6 and 7.3, respectively; no patients had metastasis. The mean operating times for GBT and ICC were 223 and 379 minutes, respectively; the mean blood loss was 23 mL and 171 mL. With the exception of 1 patient who developed intrahepatic metastasis of ICC at the opposite liver lobe, all of the patients were recurrence free.


A laparoscopic approach could be safely applied under our indications.

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