Objective: To describe a surgical technique for laparoscopic medial iliac lymph node (MILN) extirpation, and to describe the quality of biopsy specimens obtained. Design: Experimental study. Animals: Purpose-bred male hound-mix research dogs (n=8). Methods: Dogs were randomized to groups of left or right-sided laparoscopic surgical approaches. Three transperitoneal portals were established with the dogs in lateral recumbency, and ipsilateral MILN dissection was achieved under CO<inf>2</inf> pneumoperitoneum using a vessel-sealing device. Results: MILN ipsilateral to the approach were successfully identified and removed laparoscopically in 8 dogs. Observed complications included mild to moderate hemorrhage that was controlled laparoscopically in 4 dogs, and tearing of the MILN capsule during retraction and dissection in 3 dogs. No other major complications occurred and all dogs recovered uneventfully. Areas of either minor peripheral (9/9) or central (4/9) pinch artifact affected a median percentage of 5% of surface area (range, 5-30%) of bisected lymph nodes. Conclusions: Laparoscopic MILN extirpation is feasible in dogs with normal MILN and may serve as a minimally invasive approach for excisional biopsy in the diagnostic staging of canine onocologic patients with normal-sized MILN. This lateral laparoscopic approach allows dissection of the ipsilateral MILN but precludes removal of the contralateral MILN. Minimal handling of the lymph node during dissection and removal is required to reduce the risk of capsular tear, or introduction of possible histologic artifact by tissue crush that may impact diagnosis.
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