Groin lymphadenectomy with Preservation of Femoral Fascia: Total Inguinofemoral Node Dissection for Treatment of Vulvar Carcinoma


This article describes a new technique for groin lymphadenectomy with preservation of the femoral fascia based on correct embryologic and anatomic knowledge of inguinofemoral lymph node disposition and their exact relation with the fascial structures of Scarpa’s triangle. Scarpa’s triangle dissection follows a three-step procedure: development of the side starting from the inguinal ligament; development of the angles proceeding from the apex where the saphenous vein is resected; and dissection of the fossa ovalis by grasping and elevating the entire block of adipose tissue containing the superficial inguinofemoral nodes and the stump of the great saphenous vein. This surgical step allows us to expose and remove en bloc the deep femoral nodes lying medial to the portion of the femoral vein located within the fossa ovalis. The total number of inguinofemoral nodes removed from a series of 156 patients operated on during 1981–2002 ranged from 8 to 35 (mean 20) bilaterally and from 4 to 18 (mean 10) unilaterally. The 5-year survivals by stage were, respectively, 86.2% for stage Ib, 69.2% for stage II, 49.3% for stage III, and 13.3% for stage IVa; these figures are comparable to the survival rates reported by those performing the classic groin lymphadenectomy. Groin lymphadenectomy with preservation of the femoral fascia is thus an oncologically sound conservative procedure that can replace the classic Way’s technique, which involves femoral vessel skeletonization, and can be useful for treating malignant diseases requiring groin dissection.

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Correspondence to Leonardo Micheletti M.D..


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Micheletti, L., Bogliatto, F. & Massobrio, M. Groin lymphadenectomy with Preservation of Femoral Fascia: Total Inguinofemoral Node Dissection for Treatment of Vulvar Carcinoma. World J. Surg. 29, 1268–1276 (2005).

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  • Lymphedema
  • Great Saphenous Vein
  • Inguinal Ligament
  • Vulvar Cancer
  • Superficial Fascia