Complete lymph node dissection

Complete lymph node dissection

This operation is performed if you have had a sample of lymph nodes removed and one of those nodes contained melanoma cells.

What is it?

A complete lymph node dissection is the surgical removal of all the lymph nodes in a specific region (neck, armpit or groin).

What are the side effects?

  • The side effects which might accompany a complete lymph node dissection may include the following.
  • Swelling in the limb (lymphoedema) or area nearest the dissection site.
  • Loss of sensation in and around the site of surgery as well as in the areas immediately adjacent to the operative site. Some degree of loss of sensation maybe permanent.
  • Distortion of the natural anatomy in the operative site. This is a consequence of surgery which cannot be totally avoided, but which your surgeon makes every attempt to minimise without compromising the effectiveness of the surgery.
  • Increased susceptibility to infection in the involved limb if injury occurs. This will require more attention to skin cuts or abrasions in the involved area in future.