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Use of a tourniquet with and without adrenaline reduces blood loss during liposuction for lymphoedema of the arm.

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Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.


Sixty-two patients with lymphoedema of the arm after mastectomy and with hypertrophy of the adipose tissue were consecutively treated by liposuction in three different ways. The first group was operated on without the use of a tourniquet. In the second group, liposuction extended up to the distal edge of the tourniquet, and then into the proximal upper arm previously covered by the tourniquet using the 'dry' technique. Treatment of the third group was identical to that of the second one, but the area covered by the tourniquet was treated by the tumescent technique. Eighteen patients who did not have lymphoedema either treated or not treated with adrenaline served as a reference group to see how blood transfusions varied with various volumes of aspirate. Using a tourniquet significantly reduced blood loss and the number of transfusions, which was further reduced by tumescence. In the historical reference group, the number of blood transfusions increased as the volume of aspirate increased, and further if no adrenaline was added.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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