Complications of post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for testis cancer

Ashraf A. Mosharafa, Richard S. Foster, Michael O. Koch, Richard Bihrle, John P. Donohue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations


Purpose: Post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC RPLND) is a tool in the management of testis cancer. Our impression has been that the short-term morbidity of standard PC RPLND has diminished with time. Therefore, we attempted to verify this hypothesis by evaluating the morbidity of the procedure in 2 comparable groups of patients from 2 different periods. Materials and Methods: We compared 150 patients who underwent post-chemotherapy RPLND between July 2000 and July 2002 to 79 patients who underwent the same procedure between 1990 to 1992. All patients had clinical stage II-III testis cancer and had received 3 to 4 courses of standard platinum based chemotherapy before surgery. We compared surgical morbidity and postoperative complications in both groups. We also assessed a number of factors (patient characteristics, mass size, pathological features and surgical aspects) that could impact the rate of complications. Results: The 2 groups were comparable regarding preoperative clinical stage, patient characteristics and postoperative pathological findings. PC RPLND procedures were performed using the same technique. Compared to patients in the 1990 to 1992 group, the patients from the 2000 to 2002 group had fewer intraoperative complications and additional procedures (44 [29.3%] of 150 versus 41 [51.9%] of 79, p = 0.0008), a trend toward a lower postoperative complication rate (10 [6.7%] compared to 11 [13.9%], p = 0.07) and shorter hospital stay (average 5.6 versus 8.4 days [p <0.0001]). Conclusions: With time morbidity and hospital stay after standard PC RPLND have decreased. This finding probably reflects differences in patterns of care rather than changes in surgical technique. Therefore, comparing newer surgical techniques to historical controls is inappropriate since differences may not actually represent the technical advances of the newer procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1839-1841
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Lymph node excision
  • Postoperative complications
  • Testicular neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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