Lymph node dissection after pulmonary resection for lung cancer: a mini review
An accurate staging of a malignant disease is imperative in order to plan pre- and post-operative therapy, define prognosis and compare studies. According to the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) guidelines a systematic lymph node (LN) dissection is recommended in all cases of pulmonary resection for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The current lung cancer staging system considers the lymphatic stations involved but not the number of LNs. Up to date, published scientific studies on hilar and mediastinal lymphadenectomy mainly have been regarded the type of LN dissection procedure after pulmonary resection (selected LN biopsy, LN sampling, systematic nodal dissection, lobe specific nodal dissection and extended LN dissection) focusing particularly on the comparison between mediastinal LN dissection (MLND) and mediastinal LN sampling (MLNS). Recently, further investigations have been concentrated on surgical approach (videothoracoscopic vs. thoracotomic approach) used to perform pulmonary resection and following LN dissection in order to achieve a complete mediastinal lymphadenectomy. This short synthesis aims to present the current experiences in this setting.