Microsurgery. 2008 Oct 22
Qi F, Gu J, Shi Y, Yang Y.
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Treatment of obstructive extremity lymphedema remains a challenge in reconstructive surgery, since none of the varieties of procedures have been demonstrated a reliable resolution for the lymphedema. In this report, we present the preliminary results of treatment of severe upper extremity lymphedema with combined liposuction, latissimus myocutaneous flap transfer, and lymph-fascia grafting in 11 patients. All patients had histories of radical mastectomy, irradiation therapy for breast cancer, and frequent onsets of erysipelas. Postoperative measurements in an average of 26 months follow up showed that significant decrease of circumferences of the arms on all levels at surgery side were achieved. The onsets of erysipelas were also reduced. There was no chronic lymphedema found in the donor leg after harvest of the lymph-fascia graft. The results suggest the strategy of liposuction, latissimus myocutaneous flap transfer, and lymph-fascia grafting may provide a useful method for treatment of the chronic upper extremity lymphedema with severe axillary scar contracture.Wiley InterScience