LYMPHA Technique to Prevent Secondary Lower Limb Lymphedema

Francesco Boccardo, Mario Valenzano, Sergio Costantini, Federico Casabona, Matteo Morotti, Paolo Sala, Franco de Cian, Lidia Molinari, Stefano Spinaci, Sara Dessalvi, Corrado Cesare Campisi, Giuseppe Villa, Corradino Campisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy carries a high risk of lower limb lymphedema. This report describes the feasibility of performing multiple lymphatic-venous anastomoses (MLVA) after inguinofemoral lymph node completion (LYMPHA technique) and the possible benefit of LYMPHA for preventing lymphedema. Methods: Between February, 2011 and October, 2014, 11 patients with vulvar cancer and 16 patients with melanoma of the trunk requiring inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy underwent lymph node dissection and the LYMPHA technique. Blue dye was injected into the thigh 10 min before surgery. Lymphatics afferent to the blue nodes were used to perform MLVA using a collateral branch of the great saphenous vein. Results: The mean age of patients in the vulvar cancer group was 52 years (range, 48–75 years). The melanoma group comprised seven men and nine women with a mean age of 41 years (range, 37–56 years). Of the 16 patients, 5 with vulvar cancer underwent bilateral inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy, whereas the remaining 6 patients with vulvar cancer and all 16 patients with melanoma of the trunk had unilateral node dissection. All the patients were treated by the LYMPHA technique. No lymphocele or infectious complications occurred. Transient lower-extremity edema occurred for one melanoma patient (6.25 %), which resolved after 2 months, and permanent lower-extremity edema occurred for one patient (9 %) with vulvar cancer. Conclusions: The LYMPHA technique appears to be feasible, safe, and effective for the prevention of lower limb lymphedema, thereby improving the patient’s quality of life and decreasing health care costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 24 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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