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Treatment Outcomes in Patients With Symptomatic Lymphoceles Following Radical Prostatectomy Depend Upon Size and Presence of Infection

      Abstract

      Objective

      To guide treatment decisions for symptomatic lymphoceles after radical prostatectomy. We examined our experience to create a treatment algorithm.

      Materials and Methods

      We evaluated all patients that underwent radical prostatectomy at our institution from 2003 to 2012. Presenting signs, management and treatment outcomes were evaluated.

      Results

      Of the 8081 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy from 2003 to 2012, we identified 123 (1.5%) patients who developed a symptomatic lymphocele, 70 sterile and 53 infected. Percutaneous aspiration was performed in 26 of 123 (21%) patients, of those, 100% recurred. A drain was placed in 86 of 123 (70%) patients for a median of 13 vs 33 days for the infected and sterile lymphocele groups, respectively (P <.001). The median duration of drainage for sterile lymphoceles was 15 vs 58 days for lymphoceles <10 cm vs ≥10 cm (P <.001). Percutaneous drainage was successful in 93% and 86% of patients with infected and sterile lymphoceles, respectively. Laparoscopic unroofing was performed in 18 sterile lymphocele patients (15%) with a success rate of 94%.

      Conclusion

      Aspiration of symptomatic lymphoceles should be reserved for diagnostic purposes due to a high risk of recurrence. Infected lymphoceles are optimally treated with drain placement and antibiotics, and have excellent resolution rates. While sterile lymphoceles <10 cm can be successfully managed with drain placement, if drainage and sclerotherapy fail, laparoscopic unroofing should be considered. For patients with sterile lymphoceles ≥10 cm there should be a shared decision-making process to weigh the risk of a protracted course if a drain is utilized vs upfront laparoscopic unroofing.
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