Lymphedema microsurgical preventive healing approach: A new technique for primary prevention of arm lymphedema after mastectomy

Francesco Boccardo, Federico Casabona, Franco De Cian, Daniele Friedman, Giuseppe Villa, Stefano Bogliolo, Simone Ferrero, Federica Murelli, Corradino Campisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this manuscript is to assess the efficacy of direct lymphaticvenous microsurgery in the prevention of lymphedema following axillary dissection for breast cancer. Methods: Nineteen patients with operable breast cancer requiring an axillary dissection underwent surgery, carrying out LVA between the blue lymphatics and an axillary vein branch simultaneously. The follow-up after 6 and 12 months from the operation included circumferential measurements in all cases and lymphangioscintigraphy only in 18 patients out of 19 cases. Results: Blue nodes in relation to lymphatic arm drainage were identified in 18/19 patients. All blue nodes were resected and 2-4 main afferent lymphatics from the arm could be prepared and used for anastomoses. Lymphatic-venous anastomoses allowed to prevent lymphedema in all cases. Lymphangioscintigraphy demonstrated the patency of microvascular anastomoses. Conclusions: Disruption of the blue nodes and closure of arm lymphatics can explain the significantly high risk of lymphedema after axillary dissection. LVA proved to be a safe procedure for patients in order to prevent arm lymphedema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-708
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Surgery

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