Laser CO2 treatment for vulvar lymphedema secondary to gynecological cancer therapy: A report of two cases and review of the literature

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Abstract

Vulvar lymphedema is an uncommon and disabling side-effect of pelvic lymphadenectomy and pelvic radiotherapeutic treatment for invasive genital cancer. Lymphorrhea, a complication of lymphedema, may be extremely distressing for patients due to the requirement to wear sanitary towels and as the pain and loss of elasticity of the vulvar skin and mucosa can cause discomfort during coitus. Surgical treatments of lymphorrhea and vulvar lymphedema secondary to gynecological cancer treatments remain controversial and are not currently considered to be the standard therapy. The present study reports two cases of vulvar lymphedema complicated by vulvar lymphorrhea in females who had undergone treatment for cervical and endometrial cancer, respectively; a review of the literature is also included. In the two present cases, vulvar lymphedemas were refractory to standard treatments, including decongestive therapy, manual lymph drainage, elastic bandaging, low-stretch bandaging, exercises and skin care. Laser CO2 excision and vaporization of the whole skin and mucosal tissue of the vulva was successfully performed to treat the lymphorrhea and improve quality of life. Thus, the present two cases indicated that laser CO2 surgery may present an additional therapy for the treatment of genital lymphedema that is refractory to other treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1889-1892
Number of pages4
JournalOncology Letters
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Lymphorrhea
  • Pelvic lymphadenectomy
  • Pelvic radiotherapy
  • Vulvar lymphedema

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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