Minimally Invasive Lymph Node Dissection

Patients who have been diagnosed with melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes are generally encouraged to undergo a formal lymph node dissection. Unfortunately, this procedure can be associated with both short-term and long-term complications, especially when the inguinal region is involved.

Because of these risks, novel approaches to inguinal lymph node dissection are being developed to help minimize the morbidity associated with the procedure and to improve the quality of life for patients who require this type of procedure.

Lead investigator James W. Jakub, M.D., spearheaded a study, along with collaborators at other high-volume melanoma centers across the United States, called Safety and Feasibility of Minimally Invasive Inguinal Lymph Node Dissection in Patients with Melanoma (SAFE-MILND).

Minimally invasive inguinal lymph node dissection is performed in similar fashion to a laparoscopic operation, using three small holes and a camera instead of the traditional long incision. Researchers are investigating the rate of complications from minimally invasive inguinal lymph node dissection, including wound infection, wound dehiscence, lymphedema and overall quality of life, compared with previously reported outcomes from traditional inguinal lymph node dissection.

If you're interested in finding or participating in a minimally invasive inguinal lymph node dissection trial for melanoma, contact us or complete the online Cancer Studies Contact form.