Laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for low-stage cancer: A washington university update

Michael W. Gardner, Timur M. Roytman, Cathy Chen, Steven B. Brandes, Adam S. Kibel, Robert L. Grubb, Sam B. Bhayani, Robert S. Figenshau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: At present, open retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) remains the preferred approach at many high-volume centers for the surgical treatment of patients with low-stage testis cancer. Despite the potential advantages of a minimally invasive approach, including improved cosmesis and shorter recovery times, there remain concerns over the quality of dissection and oncologic control offered through a minimally invasive approach. Our objective was to critically evaluate the safety and intermediate-term oncologic efficacy of laparoscopic RPLND (L-RPLND). Patients and Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed, evaluating all patients who underwent L-RPLND between 2003 and 2009. Patient records were updated by telephone interview. Results: A total of 59 patients underwent L-RPLND during the study period, of which 13 had previously undergone chemotherapy. Mean age at treatment was 32 years. Mean operative time and estimated blood loss were 291 minutes (176-620 min) and 184 mL (range 0-1800 mL), respectively. Mean lymph node count was 21.6 (range 5-48). Mean hospital stay was 2 days (range 1-4 d). There were three open conversions because of intraoperative complications. One patient needed a transfusion. Five patients had six (8.5%) postoperative complications: three lymphoceles, two chylous ascites, and one deep venous thrombosis/pulmonary embolus. Of 18 patients with node-positive pathology, 13 received adjuvant chemotherapy and 5 underwent surveillance. Retroperitoneal recurrence did not develop in any patient undergoing surveillance during a mean follow-up of 21.3 months. One postchemotherapy RPLND (1.7%) patient experienced a retroperitoneal recurrence. Conclusions: L-RPLND is a diagnostic and therapeutic treatment option for patients with low-stage testis cancer, offering excellent oncologic control and acceptable perioperative morbidity. Intermediate-term results suggest that L-RPLND is a viable alternative to the open surgical procedure. Carefully selected patients may be candidates for L-RPLND in the postchemotherapy setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1757
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


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