Multimedia article. Lateral lymph node dissection with preoperative chemoradiation for locally advanced lower rectal cancer through a laparoscopic approach

Tsuyoshi Konishi, Hiroya Kuroyanagi, Masatoshi Oya, Masashi Ueno, Yoshiya Fujimoto, Takashi Akiyoshi, Hidehiko Yoshimatsu, Toshiaki Watanabe, Toshiharu Yamaguchi, Tetsuichiro Muto
Surgical Endoscopy 2011, 25 (7): 2358-9

BACKGROUND: Lateral lymph node (LLN) dissection contributes to a decrease in local recurrence and prolongs survival in locally advanced lower rectal cancer patients as compared with total mesorectal excision (TME) alone [1, 2]. However, this procedure is also accompanied by increased bleeding and postoperative complications [3, 4]. Recently, laparoscopic TME has become a safe and feasible approach for lower rectal cancer even after preoperative chemoradiation [5-7]. Laparoscopic LLN dissection could be the next promising approach and could not only provide a survival benefit but also minimize bleeding and postoperative complications with enhanced visualization, as reported in gynecological and urological malignancies [8, 9].

METHODS: A total of 14 patients underwent laparoscopic LLN dissection with TME after preoperative chemoradiation. Our standardized procedure for LLN dissection is seen in the video. After completion of TME, as described previously [5, 6], the obturator nerve is identified between the external and internal iliac arteries and the obturator lymph nodes are dissected along this nerve to reach the obturator foramen. The internal iliac lymph nodes are dissected along the surface of the internal iliac vein, carefully preserving the pelvic nerve plexus.

RESULTS: The procedure was successfully accomplished in all cases without conversion to laparotomy. The median amount of bleeding and operative time were 25 (range=5-1190) ml and 413 (range=277-596) min, respectively. The median number of retrieved lymph nodes was 23 (range=14-33), and eight cases had metastasis in the retrieved LLNs. Postoperative recovery was excellent, with median time to flatus of 1 (range=1-2) day. Postoperative complications included three wound infections, one anastomotic leakage, and one presacral abscess, and all recovered without surgical intervention. There was no urinary dysfunction. After a mean follow-up of 17 (range=8-43) months, all 14 patients were alive without recurrence.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic LLN dissection can be safely conducted with minimal postoperative complications.

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