Postoperative chronic lymphocele formation is common and accounts for a high postoperative morbidity. Nonsurgical strategies comprise repetitive percutaneous fluid aspiration or percutaneous sclerotherapy. OK-432 has been used to treat congenital lymphatic malformations with several reports of promising results. We hypothesized that it is more beneficial than repetitive percutaneous fluid aspiration for the treatment of symptomatic lymphocele.
Two cohorts of melanoma patients who developed recurrent lymphocele after lymph node dissection from January 2013 to August 2017 were compared. The first cohort was treated with repetitive percutaneous fluid aspiration (n = 20). The second cohort received OK-432 sclerotherapy (n = 20). Primary end points were overall treatment duration, number of treatment sessions, and the clinical success in both cohorts. Secondary end points were surgical site infection rate, need for additional antibiotic treatment, wound healing disorders, and the need for revision surgery.
Mean overall duration of treatment with sclerotherapy was significantly shorter than with repetitive aspiration (9.4 ± 7.2 vs 47.5 ± 31.9 days, P < 0.01). Mean number of sclerotherapy treatment sessions were 2.5 ± 1.2. Clinical success with OK-432 was 19 of 20, and that with repeated aspiration was 7 of 20 (χ = 15.82, P < 0.001). No surgical site infection occurred in the sclerotherapy cohort, which was significantly lower than those treated with repetitive aspiration (P < 0.03). Surgical revision was mandatory in 12 of 20 patients who were treated with repetitive aspiration, and only 1 of 20 patients in the sclerotherapy cohort.
Sclerotherapy with OK-432 for the treatment of postoperative lymphocele is highly beneficial with a significant reduction of morbidity and the overall treatment time compared with repetitive aspiration.