Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the reliability of laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (LRPLND) in the management of clinical stage I nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT). Methods: Since June 1993, unilateral LRPLND was performed in 6 patients diagnosed with clinical stage I NSGCT. All patients had undergone prior radical orchiectomy. The testicular cancer was left-sided in 3 cases and right-sided in the other 3 cases. Preoperative staging by means of tumor marker assessment, computerized tomography scan of the chest and abdomen and chest X-ray was unremarkable for metastatic disease. Results: All procedures were accomplished without any complications in a mean time of 325 min (275-420 min). The estimated perioperative blood loss was minimal (<50 ml), and none of the patients required blood transfusion. In the case of the first patient, the hospital stay was 18 days due to a widespread subcutaneous emphysema. In the remaining 5 cases, the average hospitalization was 4.8 days, ranging from 4 to 6 days. The patients resumed normal activities within 12-27 days (mean 16.16 days) postoperatively. The mean number of lymph nodes removed was 6.8, ranging from 5 to 9. Histologic examination of the dissected lymph nodes revealed microscopic metastases from embryonal carcinoma in 2 patients. Both of these patients received adjuvant chemotherapy. The mean follow-up period is 21.3 months, ranging from 6 to 36 months. To date, no relapses have been observed. Conclusion: In accordance with other reports, we believe that LRPLND is both feasible and effective. However, the definitive assessment of the efficacy and morbidity of this diagnostic procedure requires a larger and more comprehensive series as well as longer follow-up.
- Nonseminomatous testicular neoplasm
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
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