Inguinal lymph node dissection (ILND) plays a crucial role in the oncological management of patients with melanoma, penile, and vulvar cancer. This study aims to systematically evaluate perioperative adverse events (AEs) in patients undergoing ILND and its reporting.
A systematic review was conducted according to PRISMA. PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, and Embase were queried to identify studies discussing perioperative AEs in patients with melanoma, penile, and vulvar cancer following ILND.
Our search generated 3.469 publications, with 296 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Details of 14.421 patients were analyzed. Of these studies, 58 (19.5%) described intraoperative AEs (iAEs) as an outcome of interest. Overall, 68 (2.9%) patients reported at least one iAE. Postoperative AEs were reported in 278 studies, combining data on 10.898 patients. Overall, 5.748 (52.7%) patients documented ≥1 postoperative AEs. The most reported ILND-related AEs were lymphatic AEs, with a total of 4.055 (38.8%) events. The pooled meta-analysis confirmed that high BMI (RR 1.09; p = 0.006), ≥1 comorbidities (RR 1.79; p = 0.01), and diabetes (RR 1.81; p =  < 0.00001) are independent predictors for any AEs after ILND. When assessing the quality of the AEs reporting, we found 25% of studies reported at least 50% of the required criteria.
ILND performed in melanoma, penile, and vulvar cancer patients is a morbid procedure. The quality of the AEs reporting is suboptimal. A more standardized AEs reporting system is needed to produce comparable data across studies for furthering the development of strategies to decrease AEs.

© 2023. The Author(s) under exclusive licence to Société Internationale de Chirurgie.