How is inguinal lymph node dissection done?
- The patient is placed under general anesthesia in a hospital operating room.
- The surgeon cuts into the groin and removes lymph nodes that may be cancerous. This could involve only superficial nodes or both superficial and deep nodes, depending on the patient’s particular case.
- A skin flap is created to cover the cut, tubes are put in place to drain excess fluid, and the cut is closed with stitches or staples.
- A bag is attached to the end of the tube to collect any fluid drainage, which could last for several weeks.
- All tissue removed is sent to a laboratory for testing to see if cancer cells are present. If yes, the important factors to consider are the type of cancer, the number of lymph nodes removed versus the number with cancer cells, and whether the cancer has spread beyond the lymph node. These factors help determine the stage of the disease, and possible treatments and outlook.