Therapeutic value of pretherapeutic extraperitoneal laparoscopic staging of locally advanced cervical carcinoma.
OBJECTIVE To estimate the safety and feasibility of extraperitoneal laparoscopic approach for the diagnosis and treatment of paraaortic lymph node recurrence in gynecologic cancers. MATERIAL AND METHODS Between December 2002 and September 2009, 15 patients underwent extraperitoneal laparoscopic paraaortic lymphadenectomy for suspected isolated lymph node recurrence in the Gynecologic Oncology Unit of Hospital Vall d'Hebron. The suspected diagnosis of recurrence was performed with computed tomography scanning, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scanning, or magnetic resonance imaging. RESULTS The median age of patients was 63 years (range 42-75). The median body mass index was 28.5 Kg/m(2) (range 18-38). The median operative time was 157.5 minutes (range 120-240). The median blood loss was 70 mL (range 30-150). The mean nodal yield was 7.7 +/- 5.3 (range 1-16). The median hospital stay was 2 days (range 2-13). There was 1 conversion to laparotomy. There was only 1 postoperative complication, a lymphorrhea that was resolved with drainage. Recurrence was confirmed in the pathologic study in 13 of the 15 patients. CONCLUSION The extraperitoneal laparoscopic surgical approach is a feasible and safe procedure for the diagnosis of paraaortic lymph node recurrences of gynecologic cancers. The previous abdominal surgeries or treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy and high body mass index are not a problem. The low complication rate, low blood loss and low hospitalization allow a rapid recovery of the patients, which in turn, allows the rapid onset of adjuvant therapy. Complete debulking of suspicious lymphadenopathy offers an exact diagnosis of malignancy, and it may have a therapeutic benefit in the case of being positive.