Treatment of various secondary lymphedemas by microsurgical lymph vessel transplantation.


Chronic lymphedema is a debilitating complication of cancer diagnosis and therapy and poses many challenges for health care professionals. It remains a poorly understood condition that has the potential to occur after any intervention affecting lymph node drainage mechanism. Microsurgical lymph vessel transplantation is increasingly recognized as a promising method for bypassing the obstructed lymph pathways and promoting long-term reduction of edema in the affected limb. A detailed review of 14 patients with postoperative lymphedema treated with autologous lymph vessel transplantation between October 2005 and November 2009 was performed. In this report, the authors gave an account of their experience in utilizing this operative method to alleviate secondary lymphedema including upper limb, lower limb, genital, and facial edemas. Lymph vessel transplantation enhanced lymphatic drainage in patients with secondary lymphedema. In the upper and lower extremities, three patients had completed symptomatic recovery and another nine patients achieved reasonable reduction of lymphedema, four of these needed no further lymph drainage or compression garments and the remaining maintained their improvement with further decongestive therapy with or without compression garments. The patients with facial and genital edemas also experienced significant symptomatic improvement. The authors were able to establish long-term patency of the lymph vessel anastomosis by magnetic resonance lymphangiography.

DOI: 10.1002/micr.20968
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@article{Felmerer2012TreatmentOV, title={Treatment of various secondary lymphedemas by microsurgical lymph vessel transplantation.}, author={Gunther Felmerer and Thorsten Sattler and Christian Lohrmann and Dalia Tobbia}, journal={Microsurgery}, year={2012}, volume={32 3}, pages={171-7} }