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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2014 Oct;40(10):1284-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2014.01.019. Epub 2014 Feb 20.

Surgical wound complications after groin dissection in melanoma patients - a historical cohort study and risk factor analysis.

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  • 1The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Department of Physiotherapy, The Netherlands; Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Department of Clinical Epidemiology Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
  • 2The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Skin and Melanoma Center and Department of Surgical Oncology, The Netherlands.
  • 3The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Department of Biostatistics, The Netherlands.



Wound complications occur frequently after inguinal lymph node dissection (ILND) in melanoma patients. Evidence on risk factors for complications is scarce and inconsistent. This study assessed wound complication rates after ILND and investigated associated risk factors, in the melanoma unit of a specialised cancer hospital.


A chart review was conducted of all patients on whom inguinal lymph node dissection had been performed between 2003 and 2013. Wound infections, seroma formation and skin flap problems were assessed according to explicit definitions and graded through the modified Clavien system. Univariable and multivariable penalized logistic regression was used to identify risk factors. The primary factors of interest were body mass index, age, smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular and/or pulmonal comorbidity, palpable disease and postoperative bedrest. Additionally, the influence of incision-type, sartorius transposition, saphenous vein sparing and skin removal was examined.


A total of 145 procedures was examined. One or more complications occurred in 104 (72%) of the procedures; wound infection in 45%, seroma formation in 37% and skin flap problems in 26%. The only statistically significant risk factor was age (odds ratio for one standard deviation increase: 1.46, 95%CI 1.01-2.14, p = 0.05).


Wound complication rates after ILND in melanoma patients are high. Age was the only predictor of complications in this cohort, other previously identified risk factors could not be confirmed.


Inguinal lymph node dissection; Melanoma; Neoplasms; Risk factors; Wound complications

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