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Minerva Surgery 2021 Aug 02

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, Hayashi AKITATSU 2, Giuseppe VISCONTI 1

1 UOC Chirurgia Plastica, Dipartimento per la Salute della Donna, del Bambino e di Sanità Pubblica - Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Plastic Surgery, Asahi General Hospital, Chiba, Japan


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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 lymphaticovenous anastomosis and vascularised lymph node transfer, should be offered to lymphedema patients as soon as possible, aimed to ameliorate the subjective symptoms and also 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: Upper limb lymphedema; Lymphaticovenous anastomosis; Lymphovenous anastomosis; LVA; Lymphedema treatment

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