Surgical approach to malignant melanoma in the gastrointestinal tract

M. Gutman, J. M. Klausner, M. Inbar, S. Chaitchik, R. R. Rozin

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The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a common site for malignant melanoma. Diagnosis of lesions in the GI tract is usually delayed until complications occur, such as obstruction, bleeding, or perforation of the GI tract. Of 348 patients with malignant melanoma treated during a 10‐year period, 11 had GI involvement either in a metastatic form or as a primary melanoma. Three of these patients were treated surgically for metastatic lesions in the small bowel causing intussusception, two for peritonitis secondary to perforation of the small bowel, and one for massive bleeding from metastatic melanoma in the stomach. Another patient had a primary melanoma in the esophagus and underwent esophagectomy. Three patients had primary melanomas of the anal canal and one of the rectum. Three of them underwent abdominoperineal resections, and two had bilateral groin dissection in addition. Six of the patients are alive 6 months to 4 years following diagnosis. The remaining five died of metastatic melanoma from 6 months to 4 years post‐surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-20
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1987


  • bowel obstruction
  • gastrointestinal bleeding
  • malignant melanoma
  • metastases
  • peritonitis


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