Use of autologous interposition vein graft in management of lymphedema: Preliminary experimental and clinical observations

C. Campisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We report preliminary experimental studies in rats and rabbits together with clinical observations in 39 patients with chronic lymphedema undergoing interposition autologous lymphatic-venous-lymphatic (LVL) anastomoses. This microsurgical operative technique is an alternative to other lymphatic shunting methods particularly where venous disease coexists in the same limb and where direct lymphatic-venous bypass is accordingly inappropriate. Preoperative diagnostic evaluation including lymphatic and venous isotopic scintigraphy, Doppler venous flow metrics and pressure manometry play an essential role in delineating the status of both the lymphatic and venous systems and in determining which microsurgical procedure, if any, is indicated. Our microsurgical method consists of inserting suitably large and lengthy autologous venous grafts between lymphatic collectors above and below the site of blockage to lymph flow. The data demonstrate the feasibility of the LVL technique experimentally and in 39 patients with obstructive lymphedema (either arm or leg). Using LVL shunt, improvement was seen in both limb function and edema, and in some, edema regression was permanent for as long as 5 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalLymphology
Volume24
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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