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Lymphedema: Surgical and Medical Therapy

Chang, David W., MD, FACS; Masia, Jaume, MD, PhD; Garza, Ramon III, MD; Skoracki, Roman, MD, FRCSC, FACS; Neligan, Peter C., MB, FRCS, FRCSC, FACS

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: September 2016 - Volume 138 - Issue 3S - p 209S-218S
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000002683
Original Articles

Background: Secondary lymphedema is a dreaded complication that sometimes occurs after treatment of malignancies. Management of lymphedema has historically focused on conservative measures, including physical therapy and compression garments. More recently, surgery has been used for the treatment of secondary lymphedema.

Methods: This article represents the experience and treatment approaches of 5 surgeons experienced in lymphatic surgery and includes a literature review in support of the techniques and algorithms presented.

Results: This review provides the reader with current thoughts and practices by experienced clinicians who routinely treat lymphedema patients.

Conclusion: The medical and surgical treatments of lymphedema are safe and effective techniques to improve symptoms and improve quality of life in properly selected patients.

Chicago, Ill.; Barcelona, Spain; Columbus Ohio; and Seattle, Wash.

From the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences; the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau; the Department of Plastic Surgery, The Ohio State University Medical Center; and the University of Washington.

Received for publication March 28, 2016; accepted June 17, 2016.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest in any of the products, devices, or drugs mentioned in this article. The authors received book royalties from Elsevier and CRC Press. No external funding supported this work. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Roman Skoracki, MD, FRCSC, FACS, Department of Plastic Surgery, The Ohio State University—Wexner Medical Center, 915 Olentangy River Rd, Suite 2100, Columbus, OH 43212,

Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons