Objectives To describe the technique of robotic-assisted video endoscopic inguinal lymphadenectomy (R-VEIL) in patients with carcinoma vulva and discuss the advantages of the technique and oncological outcome.
Methods Twelve patients of squamous cell cancer of vulva underwent 22 R-VEIL procedures from February 2011 to February 2015. Their preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative data were retrospectively analysed.
Results The mean age of patients was 61 years (range, 32–78 years). The mean operative time was 69.3 minutes (range, 45–95 minutes). The mean blood loss was 30 mL (range, 15–50 mL). No intraoperative complication was observed. The mean drain output was 119 mL (range, 50–250 mL), and the drains were removed at a mean of 13.9 days (range, 8–38 days). The average number of superficial and deep inguinofemoral lymph nodes retrieved was 11 (range, 4–26). Two patients had positive lymph nodes on histopathology (16.67%). Postoperative complications were lymphocele (6 groins), chronic lower limb lymphedema (6 cases), prolonged lymphorrhea (1 groin), and cellulitis (2 groins). Over a follow-up period ranging from 7 to 67 months, 1 patient developed recurrence in the inguinal nodes and died 7 months after the recurrence.
Conclusions The R-VEIL allows the removal of inguinal lymph nodes within the same limits as the open procedure for inguinal lymph node dissection and has a potential to reduce the surgical morbidity associated with the open procedure. Long-term oncological results are not available though our initial results appear promising. Prospective multi-institutional studies are required to prove its efficacy over open inguinal lymph node dissection.
- Carcinoma vulva
- Robotic assisted video endoscopic inguinal lymphadenectomy
- surgical morbidity
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.