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ABSTRACT: We assessed whether axillary dissection using the electrothermal bipolar vessel sealing system (LigaSure) improved perioperative outcome when compared with conventional axillary dissection, in a prospective randomized study of 100 women with breast cancer. Those needing axillary dissection were randomized to the use of LigaSure or to conventional axillary dissection (with 50 patients in each group, all of whom had a closed suction drain in the axilla). The LigaSure patients had less intraoperative blood loss (exceeding 199 mL in 30.8% vs. 69.2%, P < 0.001), quicker axillary dissection (mean 48 vs. 63.2 min, P = 0.004), fewer days of suction drainage (4.3 vs. 5.7 days, P = 0.012), and shorter hospitalization (5.1 vs. 6.5 days, P = 0.021). No difference was found in the rate of hematomas, reoperations or infection. The use of LigaSure in axillary surgery reduced the surgical time and length of hospital stay, favoring early drain removal without increasing postoperative complications.
International journal of surgery (London, England) 09/2011; 9(8):636-40.