Laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for testicular cancer

Joel H. Hillelsohn, Brian D. Duty, Zhamshid Okhunov, Louis R. Kavoussi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: Laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (L-RPLND) was introduced over 20 years ago as a less invasive alternative to open node dissection. In this review we summarise the indications, surgical technique and outcomes of L-RPLND in the treatment of testicular cancer. Methods: We searched MEDLINE using the terms 'laparoscopy', 'laparoscopic', 'retroperitoneal lymph node dissection', 'RPLND' and 'testicular neoplasms'. Articles were selected on the basis of their relevance, study design and content, with an emphasis on more recent data. Results: We found 14 pertinent studies, which included >1300 patients who received either L-RPLND (515) or open RPLND (788). L-RPLND was associated with longer mean operative times (204 vs. 186 min), but shorter hospital stays (3.3 vs. 6.6 days) and lower complication rates (15.6% vs. 33%). Oncological outcomes were similar between L-RPLND and open RPLND, with local relapse rates of 1.3% and 1.4%, incidence of distal progression of 3.3% and 6.1%, biochemical failure in 0.9% and 1.1% and cure rates of 100% and 99.6%, respectively. Conclusion: There are no randomised controlled studies comparing L-RPLND with open RPLND. A review of case and comparative series showed similar perioperative and oncological outcomes. Patients undergoing L-RPLND on average have shorter hospital stays, a quicker return to normal activity and improved cosmesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalArab Journal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Germ cell tumour
  • Laparoscopy
  • Lymph node dissection
  • Retroperitoneal
  • Testicular cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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