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Robot-assisted laparoscopic transperitoneal pelvic lymphadenectomy and metastasectomy for melanoma: initial report of two cases


Robotic pelvic lymphadenectomy is a well established procedure in the urologic and gynecologic literature. To our knowledge robotic pelvic lymphadectomy for metastatic melanoma has yet to be described. Herein we present the first report of robot-assisted pelvic lymphadenectomy in malignant melanoma. After placement of six laparoscopic ports (12 mm camera, three 8-mm robotic ports, 12-mm and 5-mm assistant ports) the DaVinci S robot (Intuitive Surgical, CA, USA) was docked in standard fashion with the patient in low lithotomy. In both cases the patients had enlarged pelvic lymph nodes on computed tomography and complete excision of these masses was accomplished along with complete lymphadenectomy extending from Cooper’s ligament to just below the hypogastric artery in case 1 and to level of the bifurcation of aorta in case 2. A PK Maryland Dissector and monopolar scissors were used for dissection. Both patients were discharged on postoperative day #1. Robotic pelvic lymphadenectomy can be safely used for management of patients with metastatic melanoma involving the pelvic lymph nodes. Compared with the standard open procedure, pelvic lymphadenectomy with robotic assistance is associated with excellent vision and minimum morbidity.

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