Lymph node dissection (LND) has prognostic and possible therapeutic benefits in the management of high-risk upper tract urothelial carcinoma. However, LND use is low and difficult to monitor, so it is not easy to study LND outcomes and the true rate of use. Prespecified templates for complete node dissection and detailed reporting are imperative to critically assess the benefits of LND in future studies. Barriers to LND use may include fear of complications and difficulty in predicting which patients have high-risk disease. Methods to improve LND implementation include the use of strict templates with descriptive pathology reporting, nomograms for preoperative risk stratification, and LND as a quality indicator to monitor rates of use and guideline concordance. PATIENT SUMMARY: For patients with high-risk cancer of the upper urinary tract, removal of lymph nodes during surgery improves identification of the cancer stage and may have a therapeutic effect too. Further studies are needed to confirm potential therapeutic benefits.
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