Lymphadenectomy is surgery to remove lymph nodes. A lymphadenectomy, also called lymph node dissection, may be done to examine the pelvic and para-aortic lymph nodes for endometrial cancer cells. The removal and examination of the cancerous lymph nodes will determine the exact stage and grade of the cancer and may reduce the spread of the disease. The procedure can be done through an abdominal incision or by laparoscope.
A lymphadenectomy may be done:
Lymphadenectomy usually is an extensive operation in which lymph nodes are removed. This is needed because cancer can spread through the lymph system to other areas of the body.
Lymphadenectomy usually is done under general anesthesia. Laparoscopic surgery may take longer than open surgery. But if the procedure is done with a laparoscope rather than by open abdominal incision, recovery time may be shorter.
Some doctors recommend that a lymphadenectomy be done in all cases of endometrial cancer. Others believe that this procedure might not be needed when the cancer is diagnosed at a very early stage and is found to be a slow-growing grade. Lymphadenectomy may be needed if:
The removal of lymph nodes helps your doctor find out whether cancer is present and provides more accurate information about the extent and type of cancer cell growth. Removal of the cancerous lymph nodes may reduce the spread of cancer.
Risks of a lymphadenectomy include:
Lymphadenectomy often is not done if earlier tests show that low-grade cancer is in a very early stage.
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