A lymph node dissection is a surgical procedure that is designed to remove and test lymph nodes that are located near a cancerous tumor for the presence of cancer cells. After a surgeon removes the lymph nodes, a pathologist will evaluate a tissue sample under a microscope for evidence of cancer. For patients with ovarian cancer, lymph node dissection is often recommended to determine the extent of the cancer and whether it has spread beyond the ovaries. This information is important for developing an optimal treatment approach.
During a procedure to remove lymph nodes for dissection and evaluation, a surgeon will also debulk the tumor, or remove as much of the cancer as possible. However, further surgery is usually needed, and chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may also be necessary.
There are two main types of lymph node dissection, which are:
- A regional lymph node dissection – A surgeon removes some of the lymph nodes from the tumor area
- A radical lymph node dissection – A surgeon removes most or all of the lymph nodes from the tumor area (lymphadenectomy)
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our ovarian cancer patients are treated by a multispecialty team that includes some of the nation’s foremost experts. Our talented tumor board collaboratively reviews each patient’s case on an ongoing basis, customizing a treatment plan to ensure the most effective treatment while minimizing the impact on the patient’s quality of life. Moffitt’s surgeons have extensive experience in treating all types of ovarian cancer, including very rare forms, and this is important because surgery is usually the first step in treating ovarian cancer. Moffitt offers the most advanced therapies available, including lymph node dissection, surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy.
The researchers and clinicians at Moffitt are continually researching and discovering new and more advanced ovarian cancer treatment options. As we continue to advance our understanding of ovarian cancer on a molecular and genetic level, we are able to offer innovative gene and targeted therapies that are not yet available elsewhere.