Some of the concerns of operating on a lymphedematous limb are increased donor-site morbidity, such as wound infection and wound-healing difficulties, and aggravation of the lymphedematous status of the limb. The authors of this letter described their experience of using a radial forearm free flap harvested from the lymphedematous arm to reconstruct the radionecrosis defect of the chest.1 They reported that there were no donor-site wound-healing complications and that the lymphedema did not get worse after harvesting of the radial forearm flap.
This is an encouraging report, and I applaud the authors for their courage and innovative approach. Certainly, further research in this area is needed because we lack understanding of lymphedema and its pathophysiology.
David W. Chang, M.D.
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Box 443
Houston, Texas 77030-4009
1.Vaienti L, Masetto L, Palitta G, Merle M. Lymphedematous arm as donor site for radial forearm free flap in thoracic reconstruction (Letter). Plast Reconstr Surg.
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