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J Reconstr Microsurg. 2003 May;19(4):209-15.

Long-term follow-up after lymphaticovenular anastomosis for lymphedema in the leg.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama University, Japan.


Over the last 9 years, the authors analyzed lymphedema of the lower extremity in a total of 25 patients, comparing the use of supermicrosurgical lymphaticovenular anastomosis and/or conservative treatment. The most common cause of edema was hysterectomy, with or without subsequent radiation therapy for uterine cancer. Among 12 cases that underwent only conservative treatment, only one case showed a decrease of over 4 cm in the circumference of the lower leg. The average period for conservative treatment was 1.5 years, and the average decreased circumference was 0.6 cm (8 percent of the preoperative excess). Thirteen patients were followed after lymphaticovenular anastomoses, as well as pre- and postoperative conservative treatment. The average follow-up after surgery was 3.3 years, and eight patients showed a reduction of over 4 cm in the circumference of the lower leg. The average decrease in the circumference, excluding edema in the bilateral leg, was 4.7 cm (55.6 percent of the preoperative excess). These results indicate that supermicrosurgical lymphaticovenular anastomosis has a valuable place in the treatment of lymphedema.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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