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Role of robot-assisted retroperitoneal lymph node dissection in malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis: case series and review of the literature
Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Jun  2019 (Vol.  26, Issue  3, Pages( 9752 - 9757)
PMID: 31180304


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    The management of malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis (MMTVT) is not clearly defined. Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection has been reported as a potential management option. Herein we present our experience with robot-assisted retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RARPLND) in our series of patients with MMTVT.


    The Mayo Clinic cancer registry was queried from 1972-present for all patients who had a diagnosis of MMTVT. Six patients were identified, five of whom were treated with RPLND, where four underwent RARPLND.


    In five patients who underwent RPLND, the median age was 50 years (IQR 34-51). Four patients originally presented with right sided symptomatic hydroceles, while one presented with right sided chronic epididymitis. Orchiectomy (one simple, two inguinal radical) was performed in three patients prior to presentation. Preoperative cross-sectional imaging, including PET-CT scan in three patients, was negative for lymphadenopathy or metastasis. RARPLND was performed in 4/5 (80%) cases and concomitant hemiscrotectomy in 4/5 (80%) cases. Full bilateral template was performed in three patients and right modified template was performed in the remaining two. Median lymph node yield was 29 (IQR 22-32) and median blood loss was 275 cc (IQR 200-300). Positive retroperitoneal lymph nodes were found in 3/5 (60%) cases. All patients who underwent RARPLND were discharged home on postoperative day one. Mean follow up was 27 months (range 3-47). No patients recurred.


    Regardless of the approach, RPLND may provide a diagnostic benefit in patients who present with MMTVT, with the robotic approach affording a potentially expedited recovery.