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 (ILND) 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.

Related publications

Related projects


Safety and Feasibility of Minimally Invasive Inguinal Lymph Node Dissection in Patients with Melanoma (SAFE-MILND)

Lead investigator

James W. Jakub, M.D.


In an effort to improve immediate and long-term outcomes for patients undergoing inguinal lymph node dissection, Mayo Clinic researchers are leading a study on the novel technique of minimally invasive inguinal lymph node dissection (MILND). The study includes collaborators at 10 high-volume melanoma centers across the United States.

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 MILND, including wound infection, wound dehiscence, lymphedema and overall quality of life, compared with previously reported outcomes from traditional inguinal lymph node dissection.