• Patterns of recurrence and outcome were determined in 403 patients with melanoma who underwent an axillary or inguinal lymphadenectomy. Recurrences developed at single sites in 291 (72%) patients, with a median survival of 11 months, and at multiple sites in 112 (28%) patients, with a median survival of 3 months. Among patients with single-site recurrence, those with nonvisceral recurrence (n=190) had a median survival of 18.5 months compared with 6 months in those with visceral recurrence (n=101). Recurrences were treated surgically in 240 (60%) patients, with a median survival of 15 months, and nonsurgically in 112 patients, with a median survival of 4 months. Median survival after complete resection of single-site recurrence was 19 months compared with 6 months after incomplete resection. Multivariate analysis revealed that outcome was improved by surgical treatment, single-site and nonvisceral recurrence, and primary site in an extremity. These observations support an approach of selective resection in the treatment of recurrences after lymphadenectomy.
(Arch Surg. 1992;127:1412-1416)