The aim of the study was to evaluate whether complication rate, costs, operation times, and hospitalization times differed in two different patient groups: in group 1, frozen section analysis of the sentinel lymph node and lymph node dissection were carried out in the same operation. In group 2, normal investigation of the sentinel lymph node and lymph node dissection were done in a second operation. One hundred thirty-five patients with cutaneous melanoma were included. Hospitalization times, costs, complication rates, and operation times of two-stage and one-stage lymph node dissection of the draining area after detection of metastases in the sentinel lymph node were retrospectively compared. Lymph node metastasis in the sentinel lymph node was found in 23 patients. In 11 patients, removal of the sentinel lymph node and dissection of the lymph node basin was performed in the same operation. In 12 patients, a two-stage procedure was the treatment of choice. Operation times were not different in the two groups ( p =0.87) while two-stage operation patients were hospitalized significantly longer (14.2 ± 9.7 vs 23.9 ± 24 days; p =0.01) and costs were significantly higher (7,836.90 ± 2,397.95 Swiss francs vs 5,279.40 ± 1,994.90 Swiss francs). In addition, more complications were found in the two-stage group.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2005
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