A paradigm shift towards the use of combined physiological and excisional surgical approaches for the treatment of lymphedema is permeating the surgical practice worldwide. We describe a single-stage surgical approach combining-vaser assisted liposuction (VAL) and lymphatico-venous anastomoses (LVA) for the treatment of extremity-lymphedema. Methods: Between March 2018 and March 2019, a retrospective review of patients with extremitylymphedema stage IIb-III International Society of Lymphology who underwent the combined technique was done. Demographics, operative characteristics, clinical outcomes and complications were assessed. Additionally, a systematic review of studies that reported combined physiological procedures with liposuction for the treatment of lymphedema was conducted. Results: A total of 24 patients [12 upper extremity lymphedema (UEL), and 12 lower extremity lymphedema (LEL)] were included and analyzed. The mean age was 54.5 years (38-72 years). The mean circumference reduction rate was 90% and 85% for UEL and LEL, respectively. Infection rate decreased to zero postoperatively in all patients. Ten studies were included in the review: six pooling 220 cases included two-stage procedures, and four pooling 66 cases described one-stage surgeries. All patients who underwent a combined approach reported clinical improvement. Conclusions: Our combined approach is safe surgical option and allows adequate limb size reduction with faster recovery in selected patients with lymphedema with strong fibroadipose component.
- Breast cancer lymphedema
- Lymphatico-venous anastomoses (LVA)
- Suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL)
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