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Br J Surg. 1994 May;81(5):648-52.

Abdominal wall metastases following laparoscopy.

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Academic Surgical Unit, St Mary's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.


Only 18 cases of recurrence at the sites of cannula insertion after laparoscopy have been reported in the literature, ten of them in the past year. The period between laparoscopic surgery and presentation of wound metastasis varies widely, from 7 days to 10 months; the lesions are typically hard, craggy and painful. The most likely mechanism is direct implantation of viable exfoliated tumour cells but three aspects specific to laparoscopy may also be important. First, there may be increased exfoliation of tumour cells following manipulation by laparoscopic instruments of an unsuspected malignancy. Second, there may be repeated close contact between tumour-laden instruments and the port. Third, the passage of resected tissue through a small incision may coat the wound with potentially malignant cells.

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