A total of 42 patients underwent inferior vena cava resection (n=40) or intraluminal tumor thrombectomy (n=2) during retroperitoneal lymph-node dissection (RPLND) for bulky abdominal metastatic nonseminomatous germ-cell cancer (7% of all postchemotherapy RPLND cases). The three indications for caval resection included tumor clearance (38%), caval scar occlusion (14%), and caval tumor thrombus (48%). En bloc caval resection to achieve tumor clearance was justified by subsequent nodal pathology (cancer in 63% of specimens, teratoma in 31% specimens). Caval resection in the presence of scar occlusion was required de facto by virtue of its incorporation in the specimen. Caval resection or thrombectomy is indicated for intraluminal tumor thrombus because thrombus pathology (cancer, 35%; teratoma, 45%; fibrosis, 20%) reflected nodal pathology in 71% of cancer cases, 78% of teratoma cases, and 100% of fibrosis cases. The complications of caval resection were generally transitory. The 71% survival rate justifies this intensive surgical approach because these patients had exhausted all chemotherapeutic options.
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