Surgical wound complications after groin dissection in melanoma patients – a historical cohort study and risk factor analysis

ABSTRACT This study examined the incidence and risk factors of surgical wound complications after inguinal lymph node dissection in melanoma patients. Overall complication rate was 72%. Older age was confirmed as a risk factor, but other risk factors could not be established with certainty.

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    ABSTRACT: Although quality assessment is gaining increasing attention, there is still no consensus on how to define and grade postoperative complications. This shortcoming hampers comparison of outcome data among different centers and therapies and over time. A classification of complications published by one of the authors in 1992 was critically re-evaluated and modified to increase its accuracy and its acceptability in the surgical community. Modifications mainly focused on the manner of reporting life-threatening and permanently disabling complications. The new grading system still mostly relies on the therapy used to treat the complication. The classification was tested in a cohort of 6336 patients who underwent elective general surgery at our institution. The reproducibility and personal judgment of the classification were evaluated through an international survey with 2 questionnaires sent to 10 surgical centers worldwide. The new ranking system significantly correlated with complexity of surgery (P < 0.0001) as well as with the length of the hospital stay (P < 0.0001). A total of 144 surgeons from 10 different centers around the world and at different levels of training returned the survey. Ninety percent of the case presentations were correctly graded. The classification was considered to be simple (92% of the respondents), reproducible (91%), logical (92%), useful (90%), and comprehensive (89%). The answers of both questionnaires were not dependent on the origin of the reply and the level of training of the surgeons. The new complication classification appears reliable and may represent a compelling tool for quality assessment in surgery in all parts of the world.
    Annals of Surgery 08/2004; 240(2):205-13. · 7.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Based on the reduced morbidity seen in our retrospective study, we undertook a prospective, randomized trial to determine whether transposition of the sartorius muscle improves post-operative morbidity in women with squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva undergoing inguinal-femoral lymphadenectomy. Patients with squamous carcinoma of the vulva requiring inguinal-femoral lymphadenectomy were randomized to undergo sartorius transposition or not. All patients received perioperative antibiotics, DVT prophylaxis, and closed suction surgical site drainage. Outcomes assessed include wound cellulitis, wound breakdown, lymphocyst formation, lymphedema, and/or rehospitalization. Cohorts were compared using Fisher's exact test. Baseline characteristics were compared using Student's t test or Fischer's exact test as appropriate. Logistic regression was used to assess the impact of sartorius transposition, after adjusting for other factors. From June 1996 to December 2002, 61 patients underwent 99 inguinal-femoral lymphadenectomies, 28 with sartorius transposition, and 33 without. The mean (SD) age for controls and patients undergoing sartorius transposition was 63.5 (15.2) and 73.8 (13.7) years, respectively (P < 0.05). There were no statistically significant differences in BSA, tobacco use, co-morbid medical conditions, past surgical history, medication use, size of incision, duration of surgery, number of positive lymph nodes, pathologic stage, pathologic grade, pre- or postoperative hemoglobin, or length of hospitalization. There were no statistically significant differences in the incidence of wound cellulitis, wound breakdown, lymphedema, or rehospitalization. The incidence of lymphocyst formation was increased in the sartorius transposition group. After adjusting for age, however, the groups appeared similar. Sartorius transposition after inguinal-femoral lymphadenectomy does not reduce postoperative wound morbidity.
    Gynecologic Oncology 11/2004; 95(1):226-30. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melanoma patients with clinically evident regional lymph node metastases are treated with therapeutic lymph node dissections (TLNDs). The aim of this study was to evaluate morbidity and mortality following TLND in our institution. Moreover, disease-free (DFS) and overall (OS) survival were evaluated and factors that influence prognosis after TLND were assessed. Between 1982 and 2005, 236 patients underwent a TLND. Patients, who received a palliative LND or a sentinel node procedure, were not included. The median Breslow thickness was 2.4mm. Ulceration was present in 23% of patients and unknown in 66%. 37 patients had unknown primary tumors. There were 129 ilio-inguinal, 50 axillary and 61 cervical dissections performed. 37% of the patients experienced at least one operation related complication. The most frequently seen complications were wound infections/necrosis and chronic lymph edema. Ilio-inguinal dissection patients experienced significantly more complications and a longer duration of hospitalization compared to axillary or cervical patients. The duration of hospitalization has been reduced in recent years from 12 to 5days. The mean follow-up was 29months. Kaplan-Meier estimated 5-year regional control was 79%, 5-year DFS was 19% and 5-year OS was 26%. The number of positive lymph nodes, the site of the primary tumor and extra capsular extension (ECE) were independent prognostic factors for DFS and only site and ECE for OS. In conclusion, TLND for stage III melanoma is accompanied with considerable short-term complications, and can achieve regional control and potential curation in approximately one in every four patients.
    European Journal of Surgical Oncology 03/2007; 33(1):102-8. · 2.89 Impact Factor