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REVIEW  SURGICAL TREATMENT OF BREAST CANCER 

Minerva Surgery 2021 December;76(6):575-9

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5691.21.09013-4

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Breast cancer related upper limb lymphedema: approach and surgical management

Alessandro BIANCHI 1, Marzia SALGARELLO 1, Akitatsu HAYASHI 2, Giuseppe VISCONTI 1

1 Unit of Plastic Surgery, Department for Women’s and Children’s Health and Public Health, IRCCS A. Gemelli University Polyclinic Foundation, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Plastic Surgery, Asahi General Hospital, Chiba, Japan



Lymphedema of the upper extremities in a common, chronic, progressive and debilitating disease, that affects the increasing population of cancer survivors. The gold standard is nowadays an integrated approach, including conservative and surgical treatment. Lymphatic surgery, particularly the physiologic procedures including lymphatic-venous anastomosis and vascularized lymph node transfer, should be offered to lymphedema patients as soon as possible, aimed to ameliorate the subjective symptoms and to interrupt the degeneration cascade that makes this condition progressive over time. Indications for surgery, patient selection, and diagnostic tools will be discussed.


KEY WORDS: Breast neoplasms; Lymphedema; Surgical procedures, operative

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