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Ginekol Pol. 2019;90(10):577-581. doi: 10.5603/GP.2019.0100.

Comparison of the harmonic scalpel with scissors in women who experience obturator nerve injury during lymph node dissection for gynaecological malignancies.

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Atatürk University Medical Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erzurum, Turkey.
Sanko University School of Medicine, Gaziantep, Turkey.
Department of Neurology, Atatürk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey.



Lymphadenectomy is crucial for accurate staging in most gynecological malignancies. Serious complications can occur during the surgery. The present study aimed to present the early and late findings associated with obturator nerve injury, which is rarely observed during lymphadenectomy but can result in serious sequela if not noticed.


The files of the patients who underwent lymphadenectomy at our clinic between 2012 and 2018 were examined. Patients with obturator nerve incisions were identified retrospectively.


In total, 287 women patients underwent lymphadenectomy at our clinic between 2012 and 2018. Examination of surgical notes revealed that nine patients underwent obturator nerve incisions using a scissor or a harmonic scalpel (energy- activated ultrasonic scissors). With respect to management of obturator nerve damage, no significant difference was found between the use of a harmonic scalpel and scissors (p < 1.000) and the trendelenburg and lithotomy positions (p < 0.167). In addition, no significant difference was found between laparoscopy and laparotomy in terms of surgical type (p < 0.167). At 6 months post-operatively, sensory-motor examinations and EMG findings of the patients were completely normal.


Surgeries performed for gynaecological malignancies have high mortality and morbidity rates. Moreover, in the event of a complication such as nerve damage during laparoscopy, successful management of the complication before the patient undergoes laparotomy allows the patient to continue benefitting from the advantages of the laparoscopy. The results of our study show that these high-risk surgeries should be performed in advanced and well-equipped medical centres by teams experienced in gynaecological oncology.


harmonic scalpel; lymphadenectomy; obturator nerve

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