Lymphadenectomy

Table of Contents:

  1. What is lymphadenectomy?
  2. Why is it performed?
  3. What does it consist of?
  4. Preparation for lymphadenectomy
  5. Care after the procedure
  6. Alternatives to lymphadenectomy

What is lymphadenectomy?

A lymphadenectomy is a surgical procedure in which lymph nodes are removed and a sample is examined for signs of cancer. This procedure is also used to remove melanoma that has spread through the lymph nodes to prevent further spread.

Depending on which lymph nodes are removed we can talk about:

  • Axillary lymphadenectomy: dtermina if it affects the lymph or nerve nodes. This type of lymphadenectomy is associated with breast cancer.
  • Inguinal lymphadenectomy: determines if there is melanoma, penile, cervical, vulvar, colon or gastric cancer.
  • Cervical lymphadenectomy: determines whether there is lymph node involvement for thyroid, head or neck cancer.
  • Pelvic lymphadenectomy, associated with gynecological cancers.
  • Retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy: determines if there is lymph node involvement in some tumors.

This surgery is performed under general anesthesia by making an incision in the skin over the nodes to be removed. Depending on the location of these nodes, the incision may vary in depth.

Lymphadenectomy is performed under general anesthesia.

Why is lymphadenectomy performed?

A lymph node may have different numbers of cancer cells. They may be affected as a whole or only a few nodes.

In lymphadenectomy, the lymph nodes are removed for examination to determine if the patient has cancer. In addition, this procedure is also performed to remove the lymph nodes that may be affected by melanoma.

See also  Capillary grafting

What is lymphadenectomy?

The procedure consists of removing and examining the lymph nodes affected by the melanoma. This is performed under general anesthesia, depending on the area. Among the types of lymphadenectomy we find:

  • Regional lymphadenectomy, in which some of the lymph nodes located in the area of the tumor are removed.
  • Radical lymphadenectomy, in which all the lymph nodes in the area are removed.

Preparation for lymphadenectomy

Preparation for the procedure varies depending on the patient and the specialist. First, a complete physical examination will be performed, to which additional tests may be added. On the day of surgery, the patient:

  • Should not eat or drink anything for half the night before the operation.
  • You have to take drugs with a small sip of water.
  • Prepare everything you need for the hospital and leave your home ready for your return after the operation.

Care after the operation

Recovery always depends on the area from which the lymph nodes have been removed and the depth. The specialist in Mastology or General Surgery will talk to you about the risks and care to follow after the operation. Risks include:

  • Fluid buildup in the area.
  • Infection
  • Swelling of the area or the affected limb.
  • Numbness of the area
  • Peeling of the skin in the area

Alternatives to lymphadenectomy

Once the inflammation and the amount of cancerous cells are located, the specialist evaluates the treatment and it is considered in different ways:

  • By surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy

There are other related treatments that, depending on the severity and location, will be more or less appropriate:

  • Minimally invasive transanal surgery.
  • PIPAC
  • A rectoscopy
  • Anoscopy