Objective To describe a laparoscopic-assisted modification to the traditional open retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) to significantly shorten incision length and decrease morbidity of the laparotomy. Methods We describe 3 patients who underwent primary RPLND using the laparoscopic-assisted cord excision for stage I nonseminomatous germ cell testicular tumors. Spermatic cord excision is performed laparoscopically, and a standard nerve-sparing bilateral template RPLND is then performed through a supraumbilical incision. Operative time, intraoperative estimated blood loss, number of lymph nodes resected, complications, length of hospital stay, and follow-up were determined. Results All patients were clinical stage 1 (T1-2, Nx, M0 S0). The primary testicular tumor size was 2.2-5.5 cm with embryonal components, and all had negative results on abdominal and chest computed tomography imaging. Mean estimated blood loss was 267 mL (range, 100-500), operating room time was 293 minutes (range, 254-306), and all patients were discharged on postoperative day 5. There were no complications noted. Node counts were 22-33. The median length of follow-up was 20 months with no recurrence. Conclusion Laparoscopic removal of the spermatic cord during open RPLND is a simple modification to the standard technique that reduces incision size without compromising the quality of open RPLND.
ASJC Scopus subject areas