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 ¤  Abstract
 ¤ Introduction
 ¤  Preoperative Pre...
 ¤ Operative Steps
 ¤ Postoperative Care
 ¤ Discussion
 ¤  References
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 Table of Contents     
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 246-248

Videoendoscopic single-port axillary dissection

Department of Surgery, Division of Breast Diseases, Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey

Date of Submission13-Nov-2010
Date of Acceptance23-Mar-2011
Date of Web Publication3-Oct-2011

Correspondence Address:
Erman Aytac
Cerrahpasa Tip Fakultesi, Genel Cerrahi Anabilim Dali, Kursu Sekreterligi Kat:6, Fatih, Istanbul 34098
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9941.85650

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 ¤ Abstract 

Videoendoscopy is newly used in breast and axillary surgery. Single-port surgery is one of the newest methods of minimally invasive surgery. This report describes the first case of videoendoscopic single-port axillary dissection. In histopathological evaluation, 24 lymph nodes were identified and one node was infiltrated by the cancer cells. Videoendoscopic single-port axillary dissection is a precise and improvable technique. Single-port videoendoscopic axillary dissection could be more feasible with individual tools that will be designed for minimally invasive breast surgery.

Keywords: Axillary dissection, single port, videoendoscopy

How to cite this article:
Uras C, Aytac E, Aydogan F. Videoendoscopic single-port axillary dissection. J Min Access Surg 2011;7:246-8

How to cite this URL:
Uras C, Aytac E, Aydogan F. Videoendoscopic single-port axillary dissection. J Min Access Surg [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Jan 19];7:246-8. Available from:

 ¤ Introduction Top

Minimally invasive approaches are popular in many fields of general surgery. Videoendoscope is an indispensable tool of laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopy evolves rapidly as a result of increased experience and contributes to the development of other branches of the videoendoscopic surgery. Videoendoscopy is also used during the surgical approaches of the retroperitoneum, the neck, or the axilla. [1],[2],[3] Single-port surgery is one of the newest methods of minimally invasive surgery. A 29-year-old woman had undergone neoadjuvant chemotherapy for locally advanced left breast adenocarcinoma. She received a breast-conserving surgery and videoendosopic single-port axillary dissection. This is the first description of videoendoscopic single-port axillary dissection.

 ¤ Preoperative Preperation Top

The patient was fully consented for the operation entirely and also a detailed informed consent form was signed by the patient. The patient was aware of being our initial case for this specific procedure. We explained to the patient that as an initial procedure this technique would bring them no benefit, but for reducing the wound size relatively. Furthermore, they were fully aware that we would convert the operation to a conventional surgery in the event of intraoperative difficulty or complication.

Positioning of patient and ports

The patient was positioned supine on the operating table with the arm abducted maximally under general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation. A 2-cm long skin incision was made along wrinkles on the junction point of the midaxillary line and the fourth rib. The axillary space was created by blunt dissection after opening the clavipectoral fascia for providing the working space and access to the axilla. SILS Port™ (12 mm, Covidien AG, Norwalk, CT, USA) was inserted into the incision by using a Kelly clamp. Two 5-mm and one 10-mm trocars were inserted through the SILS Port™ [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Insertion of the SILS port™ and replacement of the trocars

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 ¤ Operative Steps Top

The SILS Port™ connected to an insufflator (Karl Storz, Germany) to keep the pressure at 8-10 mmHg. Endoscopic view was observed through a 30-degree 10-mm diameter straight-angled rigid endoscope (Karl Storz, Germany). Dissection was performed with an endograsper (Autosuture™, Norwalk, CT, USA), an endoscissors (ENDO MINI-SHEARS™ 5 mm Instrument With Unipolar Cautery, Norwalk, CT, USA) and the LIGASURE™ V (5 mm, Covidien, Mansfield, MA, USA). The optic system, all the trocars, and the endoscopic instruments were taken from the laparoscopy instrumentation box. No specific adaptations were performed.

The subcutaneous fatty tissue was tunneled to the direction of apex of the axilla after insertion of the SILS Port™. The dissection was started from medial boarder to the apex of the axilla by making sharp and slight blunt dissections for identifying the axillary vein [Figure 2]a. During the dissection, small vessels were cut with endoscissors that was connected to a diathermy device and the larger ones were closed and divided with the LIGASURE™ V. During medial dissection, the long thoracic nerve was seen on the chest wall and preserved. The dissection continues deep into the pectoralis major muscle, sweeping the interpectoral nodes laterally. Dissection commences from apex of the axilla over the axillary vein [Figure 2]b. The axillary content around the axillary vein was dissected by using the LIGASURE™ V [Figure 2]c. After exposing the axillary vein at apex of the axilla, lateral dissection was completed by sharp dissections with endoscissors [Figure 2]d. While dissecting the axillary content caudally from the axillary vein, the long thoracic and thoracodorsal nerves were preserved [Figure 3]a. Pulses of the subscapular artery could help to identify the thoracodorsal nerve. The fatty tissue of the axilla was dissected caudally along the anterior border of the latissimus dorsi muscle and divided after saving the neuronal structures. The nodes were dissected at levels 1, 2, and 3. During dissection procedure, landmarks of the axilla, the axillary vein in the apex, the latissimus dorsi muscles laterally, and the serratus muscles anteriorly and medially, were identified and principles of the conventional technique were also considered. A prototype external lift device could be used to maintain exposure in the subcutaneous space. The dissected axillary content was removed through the incision [Figure 3]b. After bleeding control, a Jackson Pratt drain was placed to the surgical field. The incision is closed with 4/0 vicryl and steristrips [Figure 3]c. Blood loss was 15 cc. The operating time was 90 min.
Figure 2: Steps of the single-port axillary dissection

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Figure 3: (a) Operative field after axillary dissection; (b) the specimen extraction; (c) appearance of the skin incision on postoperative day 4

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 ¤ Postoperative Care Top

No postoperative complications had developed after surgery. The patient was discharged a day after surgery and the drain was removed postoperative day 2. In histopathological evaluation, 24 lymph nodes were identified and 1 node was infiltrated by the cancer cells. The patient received chemoradiotherapy after surgery.

 ¤ Discussion Top

Videoendoscopic interventions are newly used in breast surgery for breast-conserving surgery, skin-sparing total mastectomy, or axillary dissection. [3] After first application of videoendoscopic axillary dissection by Salvat et al., [4] the techniques of videoendoscopy in breast surgery were improved by the cadaveric and clinical studies. [5],[6],[7],[8] It has been reported that videoendoscopic axillary dissection lowers duration of drainage, operative blood loss. [6] Good functional and cosmetic results were reported after videoendoscopic axillary dissection. Videoendoscopy provides better view of the anatomy and eases the preservation of the neurovascular structures. [7] However, port-site recurrence and reduced harvested lymph node numbers according to open procedures could be the unwanted results of videoendoscopic axillary dissection, but there is not enough prospective randomized studies comparing open and videoendoscopic axillary dissection with oncologic and functional long-term results to reach a conclusion. [8] This operation was performed with the equipments that are used for laparoscopic surgery. Additionally, harvested lymph node number of the patient was quite acceptable. Single-port videoendoscopic axillary dissection could be more feasible with individual tools which will be designed for minimally invasive breast surgery. We only showed that videoendoscopic axillary dissection could be performed via single port. Single-port videoendoscopic axillary dissection could enrich the beneficial effects of the breast conserving surgery and other interventions of aesthetic breast surgery. We could not make any exact comment about the application of single port for videoendoscopic axillary dissection by reporting a case; further trials are needed with increased patient number. In our opinion, videoendoscopic single-port axillary dissection is a precise and improvable technique.

 ¤ References Top

1.Walz MK, Alesina PF. Single access retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy (SARA)-one step beyond in endocrine surgery. Langenbecks Arch Surg 2009;394:447-50.   Back to cited text no. 1
2.Wilhelm T, Metzig A. Endoscopic minimally invasive thyroidectomy (eMIT): Some clarifications regarding the idea, development, preclinical studies, and application in humans. Surg Endosc 2010. [In press].  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Yamashita K, Shimizu K. Video-assisted breast surgery can sample the second and third sentinel nodes to omit axillary node dissection for sentinel-node-positive patients. Surg Endosc 2009;23:1574-80.   Back to cited text no. 3
4.Salvat J, Knopf JF, Ayoubi JM, Slamani L, Vincent-Genod A, Guilbert M, et al. Endoscopic exploration and lymph node sampling of the axilla, preliminary finding of a randomized pilot study comparing clinical and anatomo-pathologic results of endoscopic axillary lymph node sampling with traditional surgical treatment. Eur J Obstet Gynecol 1996;70:165-73.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Avrahami R, Nudelman I, Watenberg S, Lando O, Hiss Y, Lelchuk S. Minimally invasive surgery for axillary dissection. Cadaveric feasibility study. Surg Endosc 1998;12:466-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Hussein O, El-Nahhas W, El-Saed A, Denewer A. Video-assisted axillary surgery for cancer: Non-randomized comparison with conventional techniques. Breast 2007;16:513-9.   Back to cited text no. 6
7.Langer I, Kocher T, Guller U, Torhorst J, Oertli D, Harder F, et al. Long-term outcomes of breast cancer patients after endoscopic axillary lymph node dissection: A prospective analysis of 52 patients. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2005;90:85-91.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Malur S, Bechler J, Schneider A. Endoscopic axillary lymphadenectomy without prior liposuction in 100 patients with invasive breast cancer. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech 2001;11:38-41.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

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