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Does Obesity Influence Lymph Node Harvest among Patients Undergoing Colectomy for Colon Cancer?

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Adequate lymph node harvest among patients undergoing colectomy for cancer is critical for staging and therapy. Obesity is prevalent in the American population. We investigated whether lymph node harvest was compromised in obese patients undergoing colectomy for cancer. Medical records of patients who had undergone colectomy for colon cancer were reviewed. We correlated the number of lymph nodes with body mass index (BMI) and compared the number of lymph nodes among patients with BMI less than 30 kg/m2 to those with BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater (“obese”). Among all 191 patients, the correlation coefficient was 0.04 (P > 0.2). The mean number of nodes harvested from 122 nonobese patients was 12.4 ± 6 and that for 69 obese patients 12.8 ± 6 (P > 0.2). Among 130 patients undergoing right colectomy and 35 patients undergoing sigmoid colectomy, the correlation coefficients were 0.02 (P > 0.2) and 0.16 (P > 0.2), respectively. There was not a statistically significant difference in lymph node harvest between obese and nonobese patients (14.1 ± 7 vs 13.8 ± 6, P > 0.2; and 11.8 ± 6 vs 8.6 ± 5, P > 0.2), respectively. Obesity did not compromise the number of lymph nodes harvested from patients undergoing colectomy for colon cancer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Department of Surgery, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; 2: Department of Pathology, McLaren Regional Medical Center, Flint, Michigan

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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