In a nutshell
This study investigated the secondary effects of having axillary lymphadenectomy (ALD; surgery to remove the lymph nodes in the underarms region) in melanoma patients. Researchers suggested that ALD is a low risk surgery for melanoma patients.
The standard treatment for melanoma patients spread to the lymph nodes is surgery. It is known that this surgery is associated with negative side effects. However, ADL side effects are not well known. In addition to that, a prior study suggested that the removal of lymph nodes is not associated with increased survival in patients with melanoma that has spread. The benefit of this surgery and risk factors of each patient should be considered by clinicians for an adequate treatment.
Methods & findings
This study aimed to investigate the post-ADL side effects in patients with melanoma spread to the lymph nodes.
This study included 239 patients who underwent ALD. Complications were measured for 60 days after surgery. Lymphedema (swelling of the lymph nodes) was measured 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 3 months after surgery. Patients were then followed every 4 months for 3 years, every 6 months until year 5 and then every year until year 10.
Some factors were associated with an increased risk of negative side effects after surgery. These factors included being 55 years of age or older (52%), increased body weight (40%), diabetes (16%), smoking (32%) and lymphadenectomy (41%).
Wound complications were seen in 51 patients. These included dehiscence (splitting of a wound or organ) in 3 patients and hematomas (clotted blood caused by a broken blood vessel) in 10 patients.
The bottom line
This study determined that the ALD is a low risk procedure with manageable side effects.
Published By :
Annals of Surgical Oncology
Nov 20, 2017