Lymphorrhoea is a rare complication of abdominal surgery. However, there have been a few reports of lymphorrhoea following radical gastrectomy. Here, we retrospectively review the clinical analysis and treatment of lymphorrhoea based on our experiences.
We retrospectively reviewed a total of 1596 patients who underwent surgery for gastric cancer between January 1995 and January 2007. D1 and D2 lymphadenectomies were performed in 1104 patients, and D3 and D4 lymphadenectomies were performed in the other 492 patients. Disrupted lymph vessels were ligated in 545 patients, and electrically cauterized in 559 patients. Before December 31 2000, total parenteral nutrition (TPN) was administered to all the patients, and after 1 January 2001, TPN was supplemented with octreotide in all the post-operative patients.
The incidence of lymphorrhoea in patients with D3 and D4 lymphadenectomy was much higher than that in D1 and D2 lymphadenectomy patients (P < 0.05). In addition, the incidence of lymphorrhoea in patients in whom the electrotome cautery was significantly higher than that in patients who received ligation. The addition of octreotide to TPN can reduce the quantity and duration of lymphorrhoea (P < 0.05).
Ligating rather than cauterizing the disrupted lymph vessels can be done to minimize the incidence of lymphorrhoea. The combination of Octreotide and TPN appears to be an effective therapeutic modality for lymphorrhoea.
Prevention and treatment of lymphorrhoea following surgery for gastric cancer