The purpose of this study was to evaluate retrospectively the value of a subsequent superficial femoral lymph node dissection for patients with early melanoma of the lower extremity after a positive sentinel lymphadenectomy. During a 6-year period at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, 16 consecutive patients with clinical stage I or stage II melanoma of the lower extremity underwent subsequent superficial femoral lymph node dissections after positive sentinel lymphadenectomies and wide local excisions of the primary lesions. Fifteen patients (94%) were found to have no additional positive lymph nodes from their superficial femoral lymph node dissection specimens. In contrast, only 1 patient (6%) with a thick primary lesion (7.5 mm) was found to have one additional positive lymph node on a subsequent superficial femoral lymph node dissection. No patients developed any regional nodal recurrences during a mean follow-up of 31.1 months (range, 3-80 months). This preliminary report suggests that the majority of the time the sentinel lymph node may be the only site of regional microscopic nodal disease and that a subsequent superficial femoral lymph node dissection may not be necessary in patients with early melanoma of the lower extremity after a positive sentinel lymphadenectomy. However, whether the sentinel lymphadenectomy can be used solely as a regional surgical treatment for this subgroup of patients still warrants further evaluation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Annals of Plastic Surgery|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2003|
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