Background: Reports on perioperative complications after postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND) for nonseminoma germ cell tumour (NSGCT) are from experienced single centres, with a lack of population-based studies.
Objective: To assess the complications of bilateral and unilateral PC-RPLND.
Design, setting, and participants: A prospective, population-based, observational multicentre study included all patients with NSGCT who underwent PC-RPLND in Norway and Sweden during 2007-2014. Of a total of 318 patients, 87 underwent bilateral PC-RPLND and 231 underwent unilateral PC-RPLND. The median follow-up was 6 yr.
Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Bilateral and unilateral PC-RPLND were compared for the outcomes of intra- and postoperative complications (graded by Clavien-Dindo) and retrograde ejaculation (with or without nerve-sparing surgery). Complications were reported as absolute counts and percentages. The χ2 test was used for comparisons.
Results and limitations: The incidence of intraoperative complications was higher for bilateral PC-RPLND than for unilateral PC-RPLND (14% vs 4.3%, p = 0.003), with ureteral injury as the most frequent reported complication (2% of the patients). Postoperative complications were more common after bilateral than after unilateral PC-RPLND (45% vs 25%, p = 0.001) with Clavien ≥3b reported in 8.3% and 2.2%, respectively (p = 0.009). Lymphatic leakage was the most common complication occurring in 11% of the patients. Retrograde ejaculation occurred more frequently after bilateral than after unilateral surgery (59% vs 32%, p < 0.001). Limitations of the study include reporting of retrograde ejaculation, which was based on a chart review.
Conclusions: Intra- and postoperative complications including retrograde ejaculation are more frequent after bilateral PC-RPLND than after unilateral PC-RPLND.
Patient summary: Lymph node dissection in patients with testicular cancer puts them at risk of complications. In this study, we present the complications after lymph node dissection.
Keywords: Complications; Nonseminoma; Postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Retrograde ejaculation; Testicular cancer.
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