Lymph vessel transplantation

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Lymph vessel transplantation

Postby patoco » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:57 am

The microsurgical lymph vessel transplantation

Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir. 2003 Jul

Baumeister RG, Frick A.
Plastische, Hand-, Mikrochirurgie, Chirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik - Grosshadern, Klinikum der Universität München, Germany.

Key words
Lymphoedema - lymph vessel - microsurgery - transplantation

Using advanced microsurgical techniques, single lymph vessels can be safely anastomosed and segments of lymphatics can bridge localized lymphatic blockades which are mostly due to lymphadenectomies. Lymphatic grafts are harvested from the patient's thigh with a length up to about 30 cm. In the case of an axillary blockade they are anastomosed with ascending lymph vessels at the upper arm and lymph vessels at the supraclavicular region. Unilateral oedemas of lower extremities are treated by transferring the grafts via the symphysis and anastomosing them with ascending lymphatics at the affected side. Lymphoedemas of the penis and the scrotum as well as lymphoedemas due to a localized peripheral lymphatic blockade can be treated by lymphatic grafts. In 127 arm oedemas the original difference in volume between the affected and the healthy arm was reduced at two third from 3368 cm (3) to 2567 cm(3) (p < 0.001). After a follow-up period of 2.6 years the volume was reduced to 2625 cm(3) (p < 0.001). The group of patients with a follow-up of at least ten years showed a volume of 2273 cm(3) (p < 0.001). The volume of unilateral lower extremity-lymphoedemas was reduced from 13 098 cm(3) to 10 578 cm(3) (p < 0.001) and showed a volume of 11 074 cm(3) after 1.7 years (p < 0.001) and 10 692 cm(3) after four years (p < 0.001). The original mean volume of the healthy contralateral leg was 9371 cm(3). Bridging localized gaps in the lymphatic system by autologous lymphatic grafts showed long lasting stable results. Starting the treatment of lymphoedemas by conservative procedures, one should not wait too long to ascertain the possibility of a microsurgical reconstruction in order to avoid increasing secondary tissue changes. ... 2003-42131


Planning and monitoring of autologous lymph vessel transplantation by means of nuclear medicine lymphoscintigraphy

Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir. 2003 Jul

Weiss M, Baumeister RG, Hahn K.
Klinik und Poliklinik für Nuklearmedizin, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany.

Key words
Lymphoscintigraphy - lymphedema - lymph vessel transplantation

Autologous lymph vessel transplantation significantly improves the lymph drainage in patients with primary and secondary lymphedema. The aim of the present study was to prove whether scintigraphic long-term follow-up could demonstrate the function of autologous lymph vessels and the persisting success of this microsurgical technique respectively. In this study, visual and semiquantitative lymphoscintigraphy was used to prove the function of lymphatic vessel grafts in 20 patients comparing a preoperative baseline study with postoperative follow-up investigations once a year for a period of seven years. The reason for microsurgical lymph vessel transplantation was a primary (n = 4) or a secondary (n = 16) lymphedema. In 12 cases the transplantation site was at the upper extremity, in eight cases at the lower limb. In 17/20 patients lymphatic function significantly improved after autologous lymph vessel transplantation compared to the preoperative findings, as verified by visual improvement of lymph drainage and decrease of a numeric transport index. In 5/20 cases the vessel graft could be visualized directly. In these patients with scintigraphic visualization of the vessel graft, the transport index decreased to a significantly greater extent compared to the preoperative baseline study. 3/20 patients did not benefit from microsurgical treatment. Lymphoscintigraphy has shown to be an easy, reliable and readily available technique to assess lymphatic function on the long run. Scintigraphic visualization of the vessel graft showed a significantly better postoperative outcome than those without. The scintigraphic visualization of the vessel graft therefore seems to indicate a favourable prognosis regarding lymph drainage. ... 2003-42136


Dynamic lymph flow imaging in patients with oedema of the lower limb for evaluation of the functional outcome after autologous lymph vessel transplantation: an 8-year follow-up study.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2003 Feb

Weiss M, Baumeister RG, Hahn K.
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Ziemssenstrasse 1, 80335 Munich, Germany.

KeywordsLympohedema, Scintigraphy, Transplantation, Lymph drainage

The purpose of this study was to monitor the functional outcome of microsurgical intervention on lymph drainage by means of non-invasive, readily available lymphoscintigraphy. Eight patients with primary or secondary lymphoedema of the lower limb were investigated before and for 8 years after autologous lymph vessel transplantation. For scintigraphy, technetium-99m labelled nanocolloid was subcutaneously injected into the first interdigital space of the affected limb. Sequential images were acquired up to 6 h p.i.; for semiquantitative evaluation a numerical transport index was established by assigning scores of up to 9 on each of five criteria: lymphatic transport kinetics, distribution pattern of the radiopharmaceutical, time to appearance of lymph nodes, visualisation of lymph nodes and visualisation of lymph vessels/grafts. Ti values <10 were considered normal. In all eight patients, lymphatic function significantly (P</=0.01) improved after microsurgical treatment. Permanent function of vessel grafts was indicated by persistently low Ti values during the entire observation period, impressively demonstrating the success of this complex microsurgical technique. Patients with scintigraphic visualisation of the vessel graft (n=2/8) showed a substantially better postoperative outcome than those without visualisation of the vessel graft. The findings indicate that lymph vessel transplantation significantly improves lymph drainage in patients with primary or secondary lymphoedema of the lower limb. Thus, lymphoscintigraphy is helpful not only in planning microsurgical treatment but also in monitoring the postoperative outcome.


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