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Revista Colombiana de Obstetricia y Ginecología

Print version ISSN 0034-7434
On-line version ISSN 2463-0225


BURBANO-LUNA, Javier; MERCHAN-JIMENEZ, Abel; MORENO-CAPACHO, Miguel  and  PAREJA-FRANCO, René. Obturator nerve injury and repair during laparoscopic lymphadenectomy. Case report and review of the literature. Rev Colomb Obstet Ginecol [online]. 2019, vol.70, n.2, pp.115-121. ISSN 0034-7434.


To report a case of obturator nerve injury during laparoscopic lymphadenectomy and repair through the same approach during the same surgical procedure; and to present a review of the literature on this type of injury, techniques used, timing of the repair, and rehabilitation outcomes.

Materials and Methods:

Case presentation of a 29-year-old woman seen at the National Cancer Institute (Instituto Nacional de Cancerología) in Bogotá, Colombia. The patient had a clinical diagnosis of stage Ib1 squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix and was taken to radical trachelectomy plus bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy because of her wish to preserve fertility. During the procedure, a complete dissection of the obturator nerve was recognized and repaired immediately through the laparoscopic approach. A literature search was conducted in the Medline database via PubMed. The terms used for the search were “Obturator Nerve,” “Lymph Node Excision,” “Trauma,” “Nervous System”. The search was limited to publications in Spanish and English and included case series and reports, cohorts and review articles published between 1968 and September 2018.


Eight studies were included, all of them case reports. In six cases, complete sectioning of the nerve was recognized during surgery. In four cases, end-to-end anastomosis was used for repair; three cases were reconstructed using sural nerve grafting; and one case was managed with neurolysis and end-to-end anastomosis. All cases were approached laparoscopically. Over a nine-month follow-up period, three patients recovered full nerve function.


The studies retrieved were all case reports, the most frequent injury being complete nerve sectioning. Several nerve repair techniques were used. Recovery after one year was not complete in a significant number of the cases reported.

Keywords : obturator nerve; lymph node excision; laparoscopy.

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