Radical lymphadenectomy for advanced colon cancer via separation of the mesocolon into two layers as in filleting fish



Radical lymphadenectomy for advanced colon cancer performed via the medial approach improves oncologic outcomes. However, D3 radical lymphadenectomy possesses some unresolved problems such as the complicated vascular anatomy and concerns over surgical morbidity [15]. The authors present a simple and safe procedure for laparoscopic right or left hemicolectomy using a medial approach to overcome these problems. The key characteristic of their procedure is separation of the mesocolon into two layers along the superior or inferior mesenteric artery, showing the course of these branches under the mantle of the vascular sheath. This procedure resembles filleting fish into two pieces.


Between October 2009 and March 2010, 11 consecutive patients with advanced colon cancer underwent a curative laparoscopic right (n = 5) or left (n = 6) hemicolectomy via a medial approach by a single surgeon. The body mass image (BMI) for the 11 patients ranged from 22 to 32 kg/m2. With this procedure, the D3 lymphadenectomy procedure is performed first [6]. The mesocolon is dissected between the superficial layer of the fat tissue and the deep layer of the vascular sheath along the superior or inferior mesenteric artery. After the course of each branch is exposed, each supplying or draining vessel is transected at its root [7, 8]. The use of a laparoscope and a spatula-type electric cautery greatly contributes to this procedure [9]. Next, the bowel is mobilized, and the specimen is retrieved through the small incision. Finally, extra- or intracorporeal anastomosis is performed.


No intraoperative complications occurred. The median number of retrieved lymph nodes was 23 (range, 13–52). The median total operative time was 220 min (range, 145–318 min), and the intraoperative blood loss was minimal (range, 0–70 g). The postoperative course was uneventful for all the patients.


The authors consider the described method to be simple and safe for radical lymphadenectomy during a laparoscopic right or left hemicolectomy.

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Dai Uematsu, Gaku Akiyama, and Akiko Magishi have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Dai Uematsu.

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Gaku Akiyama contributed to the concept and design of the study and Akiko Magishi contributed to drafting the manuscript.

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Uematsu, D., Akiyama, G. & Magishi, A. Radical lymphadenectomy for advanced colon cancer via separation of the mesocolon into two layers as in filleting fish. Surg Endosc 25, 1659–1660 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-010-1439-6

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  • Colectomy
  • Colon cancer
  • Laparoscopy
  • Lymph node dissection
  • Lymphadenectomy