Technical Aspects of Endosurgical Extraperitoneal Aortic Lymph Node Dissection in Gynaecologic Oncology

  • Denis QuerleuEmail author
  • Agnieszka Rychlik
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Controversies to Consensus : Recent advances



Laparoscopic aortic node dissection can be performed using extraperitoneal techniques. The surgical technique has been made much easier by the development of multifunction instruments, combining sophisticated bipolar thermal fusion and sharp incision, or using harmonic hemostasis. These instruments improve ergonomy, and may reduce the lymphocyst formation rate, the more frequent complication of extraperitoneal lymph node dissection. Robotic assistance is feasible and safe, but that does not provide significant improvement in perioperative outcomes. Laparoscopic or robot-assisted single port has been used by several investigators, which led to the same conclusions. Interestingly, the left lateral extraperitoneal approach can be extended to the left pelvic sidewall, allowing to resect suspicious nodes, sentinel nodes or to complete left pelvic lymph node dissection.

Materials and Methods

In this paper, a review of the technical aspects including surgical steps, instrumentation, and comparative studies of perioperative outcomes has been carried out. A PubMed search was carried out from the year 1995, including the terms “extraperitoneal” “aortic” “lymph node dissection”. Comparative studies investigating the benefits of the extraperitoneal approach compared to the transperitoneal approach were carefully screened. One animal randomized study and one clinical randomized study are available, along with meta-analyses or reviews of retrospective comparative studies.


No difference was observed in terms of duration of the surgery, blood loss, postoperative complications, hospital stay, and node yield. The extraperitoneal technique overall generates less adhesions, and the intraoperative complication rate is significantly lower than in the transperitoneal approach. The proportion of patients in whom the operation can be satisfactorily completed by this approach is over 90%. The advantages of the extraperitoneal approach are more in obese patients, in relation to the absence of interference of the bowel loops in the operative field, and a higher feasibility.


The extraperitoneal endosurgical approach is an indispensable tool which must be mastered by gynaecologic oncologists. Extraperitoneal aortic lymph node dissection can be used as a staging procedure, or a part of a full endoscopic operation encompassing intraperitoneal steps like omentectomy and hysterectomy in the surgical staging of endometrial and ovarian cancer.


Laparoscopic surgery Aortic lymph node dissection Gynecologic oncology 



This work has not been funded.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

No ethical issues with patients are involved.


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Copyright information

© Association of Gynecologic Oncologists of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryInstitut BergoniéBordeauxFrance

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