Lymphadenectomy is surgery to remove
lymph nodes. A lymphadenectomy, also called lymph node
dissection, may be done to examine certain 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
A lymphadenectomy may be done:
If cancer cells are found in certain lymph
nodes that were removed in an earlier surgical procedure.
hysterectomy if cancer has invaded the deep part of
the muscle, the cancer is of higher grade, or your doctor suspects that cancer
may spread to other parts of the body.
Lymphadenectomy usually is an extensive operation in which
lymph nodes in different parts of the pelvis are removed. This is necessary
because cancer can spread through the lymph system to other areas of the
What To Expect After Surgery
Lymphadenectomy usually is done under
general anesthesia. The length of time required for
recovery depends upon the extent of the procedure. If the procedure is done
with a laparoscope rather than by open abdominal incision, recovery time may be
shorter. But most surgeons have more experience with open surgery than
with laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery may take longer than open
surgery unless the surgeon is well-experienced with laparoscopic techniques.
Why It Is Done
Some doctors recommend that a lymphadenectomy be performed 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
Cancer cells are found in selected lymph nodes
that were removed in an earlier surgical procedure.
Cancer cells are found in a lymph node at the time you are having surgery.
lymph nodes are enlarged.
Cancer cells are a higher grade
Cancer cells have grown into the muscle of the
uterus, the cervix, or other areas of the pelvis.
The cancer is
How Well It Works
Removal of lymph nodes helps to determine 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
Risks of a lymphadenectomy include:
lymph fluid in the pelvis (lymphocele).
What To Think About
Lymphadenectomy often is not done if earlier tests show that
low-grade cancer is in a very early stage.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.