Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


Step-by-step surgical procedures for a correct identification of the sentinel lymph node in endometrial cancer

S. Restaino 1, A. Finelli 2, A. Lucidi 2, A. Ercoli 3, G. Scambia 1,4, F. Fanfani 1,4

1 Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, UOC di Ginecologia Oncologica, Dipartimento per la Tutela della Salute della Donna e della Vita Nascente, L.go A. Gemelli; 00167 Roma, Italia;
2 Gynecologic Oncology Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences University “G. d’Annunzio”of Chieti-Pescara, Via dei Vestini 131, 66100 Chieti (CH), Italy;
3 Gynecologic Oncology, Università degli Studi di Messina, Piazza Pugliatti, 1, 98122 Messina ME, Italy;
4 Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma Largo A. Gemelli, 1 - 20123 Milano, Italia.


sentinel lymph node, endometrial cancer, laparoscopy

Published online: Jan 08 2021


Background: In patients with endometrial cancer, the common method for assessing the status of lymph nodes (LN) is lymphadenectomy. The sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy is a revolutionary concept and it will play an increasingly important role in surgical practice. The surgical technique of the sentinel lymph node is less destructive than lymphadenectomy, and it requires less anatomical knowledge.

Methods: Step by step technique of cervical injection, the preparation of the anatomical spaces and the identification of the main structures to detect and remove the SLN safely in patients affected by endometrial cancer stage IA.

Results: We identify the three different lymphatic pathways drainage from the uterine cervix and show how anatomical retroperitoneal knowledge is essential for the safe dissection of anatomical spaces. In literature it is reported that in about 9% of cases the SLN is located at the lumbo-aortic level, so it is clear how important it is to know the anatomy to follow the highlighted lymph pathway to identify first lymph node absorber of the drainage.

Conclusion: Anatomical knowledge and the correct preparation of the anatomical spaces make the identification of the sentinel lymph node safe and feasible.