Results of Lymph Node Transfer
Another surgical treatment, microsurgical transfer of a lymph node, has shown some promising results. The procedure was developed by Corinne Becker in 1988. In her study of 24 patients with 5 years of arm lymphedema who underwent microsurgical lymph node transfer to the axilla, 10 patients had normalization of upper arm circumference, 12 patients had decreased arm circumference, and 2 patients had no improvement. Additionally, an inguinal lymph node can be transferred to the axilla , together with microsurgical breast reconstruction, using abdominal perforator flap, in women who have lymphedema or the lymph node can be transferred by itself, without the reconstruction. Similar to perforator flap reconstruction, this procedure is performed with co-microsurgeons. According to Saaristo et al (2012) Postoperative lymphoscintigraphy demonstrated at least some improvement in lymphatic vessel function in 5 of 6 patients with lymphedema. The upper limb perimeter decreased in 7 of 9 patients. Physiotherapy and compression was no longer needed in 3 of 9 patients. Importantly, we found that human lymph nodes express high levels of endogenous lymphatic vessel growth factors. Transfer of the lymph nodes and the resulting endogenous growth factor expression may thereby induce the re-growth of lymphatic network in the axilla. No edema problems were detected in the lymph node donor area. The authors concluded that simultaneous breast and lymphatic reconstruction is an “ideal” option for patients who suffer from lymphedema following mastectomy and axillary dissection.
Saaristo AM, Niemi TS, Viitanen TP, Tervala TV, Hartiala P, Suominen EA. . Ann Surg. 2012 Mar;255(3):468-73.Microvascular breast reconstruction and lymph node transfer for postmastectomy lymphedema patients.
Options for quality lymphedema treatment include:
- Micro-surgical Lymphedema Treatment
- Micro-surgical Lymphedema Treatment in the U.S.
- Micro-surgical Lymphedema Treatment in Belgium
We also provide information on costs and insurance:
For more research results on lymphedema treatments, see:
- Results of Microsurgical Lymphatic Venous Anastamoses (LVA) Treatment
- Results of Liposuction for Lymphedema