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Surgical Options for Lymphedema Following Breast Cancer Treatment

Ketterer, Claire BSN, RN

doi: 10.1097/PSN.0000000000000036
Departments: Reconstruction Department

Surgical options for treating lymphedema have expanded in recent years. For many years the only treatment options were conservative nonsurgical therapies and excisional surgeries. Advances in microsurgery have made it possible to reconstruct lymphatic function. Reconstructive surgical options include lymphaticovenular bypass, lymphaticolymphatic bypass, and vascularized lymph node transfer. Currently, there is no consensus on how or when to surgically treat lymphedema, and more studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy and risks of each of these techniques.

Claire Ketterer, BSN, RN, is a nurse at a private plastic surgery practice in Santa Monica, CA. She graduated from Saint Louis University.

Address Correspondence to Claire Ketterer, RN, 1301 20th Street, suite 430, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (e-mail:

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses