Laparoscopic extended lateral pelvic node dissection following total mesorectal excision for advanced rectal cancer: initial clinical experience

Jun Seok Park, Gyu-Seog Choi, Kyoung Hoon Lim, You Seok Jang, Hye Jin Kim, Soo Yeon Park, Soo Han Jun
Surgical Endoscopy 2011, 25 (10): 3322-9

AIM: To evaluate the technical feasibility, safety, and oncological outcomes of laparoscopic extended lateral pelvic lymph node dissection (LPLD) following total mesorectal excision (TME) in patients with advanced low rectal cancer.

STUDY DESIGN: A review of a prospectively collected database at Kyungpook National University Hospital from May 2003 to September 2009 revealed a series of 16 consecutive laparoscopic TME with LPLD patients with preoperative diagnosis of lateral node metastasis. Data regarding patient demographics, operating time, perioperative blood loss, surgical morbidity, lateral lymph node status, functional outcome, and mid-term oncologic result were analyzed.

RESULTS: In all 16 patients, the procedures were completed without conversion to open surgery. During the study period, robot-assisted laparoscopic LPLD was performed in two patients. Mean operative time was 321.9 min (range 220-510 min). The mean number of lateral lymph nodes harvested was 9.1 (range 3-19), and a total of nine patients (56.2%) had lymph node metastases. Postoperative mortality and morbidity were 0 and 31.2%, respectively. Recovery after the procedure was rapid, and mean hospital stay was 9.9 days (range 7-14 days). With median follow-up of 38 months, among nine patients who were lateral pelvic node positive, one patient experienced pelvic side-wall local recurrence (11.2%).

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic TME with LPLD is safe and feasible, with the advantage of a minimally invasive approach. Prospective controlled study comparing laparoscopy and conventional open surgery with long-term follow-up evaluation is needed to confirm the authors' initial experience.

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