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Microsurgery. 2010 May;30(4):256-60. doi: 10.1002/micr.20737.

Microsurgery for lymphedema: clinical research and long-term results.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Unit of Lymphatic Surgery and Microsurgery, San Martino Hospital, University of Genoa, Italy. campisicorradino@tin.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To report the wide clinical experience and the research studies in the microsurgical treatment of peripheral lymphedema.

METHODS:

More than 1800 patients with peripheral lymphedema have been treated with microsurgical techniques. Derivative lymphatic microvascular procedures recognize today its most exemplary application in multiple lymphatic-venous anastomoses (LVA). In case of associated venous disease reconstructive lymphatic microsurgery techniques have been developed. Objective assessment was undertaken by water volumetry and lymphoscintigraphy.

RESULTS:

Subjective improvement was noted in 87% of patients. Objectively, volume changes showed a significant improvement in 83%, with an average reduction of 67% of the excess volume. Of those patients followed-up, 85% have been able to discontinue the use of conservative measures, with an average follow-up of more than 10 years and average reduction in excess volume of 69%. There was a 87% reduction in the incidence of cellulitis after microsurgery.

CONCLUSIONS:

Microsurgical LVA have a place in the treatment of peripheral lymphedema, and should be the therapy of choice in patients who are not sufficiently responsive to nonsurgical treatment.

PMID:
20235160
DOI:
10.1002/micr.20737
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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