Table of Contents
ISRN Surgery
Volume 2013, Article ID 382138, 6 pages
Review Article

Postoperative Complications following Nodal Dissection and Their Association with Melanoma Recurrence

Department of Academic Surgery, University College Cork (UCC), National University of Ireland (NUI), Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland

Received 3 January 2013; Accepted 30 January 2013

Academic Editors: D. Laub, J. P. Wei, and D. E. Ziogas

Copyright © 2013 Abubakr Ahmed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Although postoperative complications are common after lymph node dissection, its association with disease recurrence has not yet been fully investigated. Methods. A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database was conducted, looking at all malignant melanoma patients with sentinel nodes positive disease requiring axillary or inguinal dissection between 2002 and 2011. Results. A total of 124 patients required nodal clearance from 317 patients with stage I/II malignant melanoma who had undergone sentinel lymph node biopsy. Of these, 104 patients met the inclusion criteria and were divided into inguinal lymph node dissections (ILND; ) or axillary lymph node dissections (ALND; ). Immunohistochemical deposits had higher detection rate in ALND ( ). The ILND patients had a higher recurrence rate (84.1% versus 63.4%; ) and mortality (68.3% versus 48.8%; ) without a significant difference in complications. In patients whom complications developed, 75% of the ILND group and 71.4% of the ALND group had disease recurrence, but without reaching a statistical value as an independent predictor of melanoma recurrence. Conclusion. Complications are common following ILND and ALND; however there is no significant difference in complications rates between the groups with some associations with recurrence without reaching a significant difference.