Treatment of primary lower limb lymphedema with ultrasonic assisted liposuction

Department of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, 9th People's Hospital, Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200011, China.
Zhonghua zheng xing wai ke za zhi = Zhonghua zhengxing waike zazhi = Chinese journal of plastic surgery 08/2006; 22(4):290-1.
Source: PubMed


To observe treatment effects of primary lower limb lymphedema using ultrasonic assisted liposuction.
Internal ultrasonic liposculpture system combined postoperative continual elastic stockings or bandages were used for reducing lymphatic burdens of the affected limbs by partly removal of lymphedematous tissues.
Edema regression in the affected limbs were obvious at 2 weeks postoperative and kept to stable without recurrence during 1 year follow-up.
Ultrasonic assisted liposuction combined with elastic compression is safe and effective for the treatment of primary limb lymphedema.

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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of obstructive extremity lymphedema remains a challenge in reconstructive surgery, since none of the varieties of procedures have been demonstrated a reliable resolution for the lymphedema. In this report, we present the preliminary results of treatment of severe upper extremity lymphedema with combined liposuction, latissimus myocutaneous flap transfer, and lymph-fascia grafting in 11 patients. All patients had histories of radical mastectomy, irradiation therapy for breast cancer, and frequent onsets of erysipelas. Postoperative measurements in an average of 26 months follow up showed that significant decrease of circumferences of the arms on all levels at surgery side were achieved. The onsets of erysipelas were also reduced. There was no chronic lymphedema found in the donor leg after harvest of the lymph-fascia graft. The results suggest the strategy of liposuction, latissimus myocutaneous flap transfer, and lymph-fascia grafting may provide a useful method for treatment of the chronic upper extremity lymphedema with severe axillary scar contracture.
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