Current Urology Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 203–208 | Cite as

Complications of Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection for Prostate Cancer

  • K. A. Keegan
  • M. S. CooksonEmail author


Pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) represents the standard for detection of occult pelvic nodal metastases from prostate cancer, and may be performed separately from or at the time of radical prostatectomy. In addition to its potential for diagnostic staging, a PLND may be therapeutic in some patients. However, considerable debate centers on the appropriate candidates for the procedure, the extent and proper boundaries of dissection, optimal surgical approach, and absolute oncologic benefit. Several series suggest that there likely is limited benefit of PLND in low-risk patients and that PLND can be safely omitted in a high percentage of men undergoing contemporary radical prostatectomy. Furthermore, the value of PLND in patients with intermediate- and high-risk disease must be balanced against the potential morbidity of the procedure. In the setting of this debate, concern over morbidity directly attributable to this procedure is of paramount importance. This review focuses on the complications associated with PLND, including lymphocele, thromboembolic events, ureteral injury, nerve injury, vascular injury, and lymphedema.


Pelvic lymph node dissection Complications Prostate cancer 



K. Keegan: none. Dr. Michael Cookson has served as a consultant for Endo Pharmaceuticals.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urologic SurgeryVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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