Background: Recent studies have analyzed the combination of suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL) and vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT) in lymphedema treatment, reporting positive outcomes. However, it is difficult to draw conclusions due to the heterogeneity of the studies. Aim of this prospective study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the combination of VLNT and SAL in lymphedema treatment. Patients and methods: Between January 2016 and May 2019, 94 patients with upper or lower limb stage IIb-III lymphedema were enrolled and treated with the gastroepiploic VLNT followed by SAL. Patients were prospectively evaluated through circumference measurement and clinical examination, including number of episodes of cellulitis. Results: Among patients enrolled in the study 83 were affected by lower limb lymphedema (LLL) and 11 were affected by upper limb lymphedema (ULL). Average follow-up was 3 ± 0.8 years. In the LLL group, the mean circumference reduction rates (CRR) were 60.4, 56.9, 29.6, and 55.4% above and below the knee, above the ankle, and at the foot level, respectively. A statistically significant difference was noted at all the levels (p <.05), but above the ankle (p =.059). Regarding the ULL group, the mean CRR were 80.7, 60.7, 65.0 and 49.6% above and below the elbow, at wrist and at mid-hand, respectively. CRR were reported at all the levels but no statistical difference was noted. The number of episodes of cellulitis dropped significantly (p <.05). Conclusion: This study supports the use of VLNT+SAL in lymphedema grades IIb-III, with important implications for the clinical practice.

Combined lymph node transfer and suction-assisted lipectomy in lymphedema treatment: A prospective study

Bolletta A.
Co-primo
;
di Taranto G.
Co-primo
;
Losco L.;Cigna E.;
2022

Abstract

Background: Recent studies have analyzed the combination of suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL) and vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT) in lymphedema treatment, reporting positive outcomes. However, it is difficult to draw conclusions due to the heterogeneity of the studies. Aim of this prospective study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the combination of VLNT and SAL in lymphedema treatment. Patients and methods: Between January 2016 and May 2019, 94 patients with upper or lower limb stage IIb-III lymphedema were enrolled and treated with the gastroepiploic VLNT followed by SAL. Patients were prospectively evaluated through circumference measurement and clinical examination, including number of episodes of cellulitis. Results: Among patients enrolled in the study 83 were affected by lower limb lymphedema (LLL) and 11 were affected by upper limb lymphedema (ULL). Average follow-up was 3 ± 0.8 years. In the LLL group, the mean circumference reduction rates (CRR) were 60.4, 56.9, 29.6, and 55.4% above and below the knee, above the ankle, and at the foot level, respectively. A statistically significant difference was noted at all the levels (p <.05), but above the ankle (p =.059). Regarding the ULL group, the mean CRR were 80.7, 60.7, 65.0 and 49.6% above and below the elbow, at wrist and at mid-hand, respectively. CRR were reported at all the levels but no statistical difference was noted. The number of episodes of cellulitis dropped significantly (p <.05). Conclusion: This study supports the use of VLNT+SAL in lymphedema grades IIb-III, with important implications for the clinical practice.
Bolletta, A.; di Taranto, G.; Losco, L.; Elia, R.; Sert, G.; Ribuffo, D.; Cigna, E.; Chen, H. -C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1124313
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