To determine, in patients who have undergone bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy for gynecological cancer, the incidence of lymphocyst formation, their change in size with time, risk factors and correlation with symptoms.
This was a prospective observational study of 108 patients undergoing bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy for gynecological cancer in our unit. We performed serial three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound assessment at 2 and 6 weeks and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after surgery. Before each ultrasound assessment, symptoms were recorded and a physical examination was performed.
Forty-eight (44.4%) patients had unilateral or bilateral lymphocysts detected during the follow-up period; 26 were on the left side, 16 were on the right side and six were bilateral. In 39 (81.2%) of the patients, the lymphocysts were first noted 2 weeks after the operation. In nine (18.8%) the lymphocysts persisted until 12 months after surgery. There was no association between lymphocyst formation and diagnosis, type of operation performed, surgeon, operative blood loss, adjuvant radiotherapy and number of lymph nodes removed. Four lymphocysts were detected by physical examination before the ultrasound diagnosis. There was no association between lymphocyst and symptoms, including pain over the abdomen, pelvis, thigh, legs or back, lymphedema, fever or symptoms of cystitis. Only one patient developed an infection of the lymphocyst, which required surgical intervention.
Lymphocyst formation is common following bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy. Most patients with lymphocysts are asymptomatic and the development of major complications is rare. Copyright © 2008 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.