Lymphatic complications in surgery: Possibility of prevention and therapeutic options

Francesco Boccardo, Corrado Cesare Campisi, Lidia Molinari, Sara Dessalvi, Pier Luigi Santi, Corradino Campisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The problem of prevention of lymphatic complications in surgery is extremely important if we think about the frequency of both early complications such as lymphorrhea, lymphocele, wound dehiscence and infections and late complications such as lymphangitis and lymphedema. Nowadays, it is possible to identify risk patients and prevent these lesions or treat them at an early stage. This report helps to demonstrate how it is important to integrate diagnostic and clinical findings to better understand how to properly identify risk patients for lymphatic injuries and, therefore, when it is useful and proper to do prevention. Authors report their experiences in the prevention and treatment of lymphatic injuries after surgical operations and trauma. After an accurate diagnostic approach, prevention is based on different technical procedures among which microsurgical procedures. It is very important to follow-up the patient not only clinically but also by lymphoscintigraphy. A protocol of prevention of secondary limb lymphedema was proposed and it includes, from the diagnostic point of view, lymphoscintigraphy and, as concerns therapy, it recognizes also a role to early microsurgery. It is necessary to accurately follow-up the patient who has undergone an operation at risk for the appearance of lymphatic complications and, even better, to assess clinically and by lymphoscintigraphy the patient before surgical operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalUpdates in Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • Early treatment
  • Lymphatic complications
  • Microsurgical prevention
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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