NYMC Faculty Publications


Right Colectomy with Extended D3 Mesenterectomy: Anterior and Posterior to the Mesenteric Vessels

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June 2019




BACKGROUND: In right colectomy for cancer, complete mesocolic excision and D3 lymphadenectomy each leave behind lymphatic tissue anterior and posterior to the superior mesenteric vein (SMV) and artery (SMA). In this article, we present D3 extended mesenterectomy: a surgical technique that excises the lymphatic tissue en bloc with the right colectomy specimen. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A 3D map of the mesentery of the right colon was reconstructed from staging CT-angiogram scans. The surgical technique of right colectomy with D3 extended mesenterectomy consisted of eight steps: 1) reveal the SMV and SMA; 2) isolate the ileocolic artery; 3) isolate the middle colic artery; 4) resolve the anterior mesenteric flap; 5) specimen de-vascularization; 6) colectomy; 7) resolve the posterior mesenteric flap; and 8) anastomosis. RESULTS: One-hundred-seventy-six patients (77 men) 66 years of age were operated upon from February 2011 to January 2017. There were 169 adenocarcinomas: 16.0% Stage I, 49.1% Stage II, 33.7% Stage III, 1.2% Stage IV. Tumor locations were 50.6% cecum, 41.5% ascending colon, 4.5% hepatic flexure, and 2.3% transverse colon. Mean operating time was 200 minutes, blood loss 273 ml, and length of stay 7.9 days. There were 9 anastomotic leakages and 15 reoperations. One patient underwent small bowel resection due to SMA tear. There was no postoperative mortality. The mean number of lymph nodes per specimen (40.9) was comprised of 27.1 in the D2 volume and 13.8 in the D3 volume. The mean number of metastatic lymph nodes was 1.2 in the D2 volume and 0.13 in D3. There were 7 patients with lymph node metastasis in D3, 2 of whom had node metastasis solely within D3. CONCLUSION: This study shows that 1.2% of patients would have been incorrectly diagnosed as Stage II if extended D3 mesenterectomy had not been performed. Similarly, lymph node metastases would have been left behind in 4.1% of patients if extended D3 mesenterectomy had not been performed.

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