Aim Inguinal lymphadenectomy (IL) is the standard treatment for inguinal lymph node (LN) metastases from genitourinary neoplasm and other cutaneous malignancies. Video endoscopic inguinal lymphadenectomy (VEIL) is emerging as a new modality for treating inguinal LN metastasis, with the aim of reducing post-operative complications. However, the safety and effectiveness of this new approach is still unclear. Method A systematic literature review was performed. Patient characteristics, selection criteria, intra-operative data, number of excised LNs and post-operative outcomes were extracted and described for each study. Results Ten series that encompassed data of 236 procedures performed in 168 patients were reviewed. The conversion to traditional IL rates ranged between 0 and 7.7%. Median/mean operation time varied between 60 and 245 min. Wound-related complications and lymphatic collection/seroma ranged between 0 and 13.3% and 4 and 38.4%, respectively. The median/mean number of excised inguinal LNs ranged between 7 and 16. Although only four studies reported a follow-up time longer then 2 years, local recurrence rate was up to 6.6%. Conclusions VEIL is safe and feasible for experienced surgeons with advanced laparoscopic skills and familiarity with groin anatomy. The post-operative morbidity appears lower compared to the open procedure, mainly for wound/skin related complications. The number of harvested LN and the regional recurrence rate is comparable to that of conventional groin dissection. Before VEIL technique can be considered suitable for routine clinical practice, comparable oncological outcomes and lower post-operative morbidity should be assessed in a randomized controlled trial.
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