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Surgery for Lymphedema

June 6, 2008

Pat O'Connor


Types of Lymphedema Surgeries


Related Terms: Charles Procedure, Thompsons Procedure, Buck's Fascia, Homans-miller Procedure, Kondoleon Procedure, Sisktrunk Procedure, Thompson Procedure, Lymphedema Microsurgery, Dermal Flap, Miller Sistrunk Procedure, Surgical Therapy

Lymphedema Surgery

Through the years there has been several surgical techniques used in attempting to treat lymphedema. Generally, all these surgeries involved stripping out of the subcutaneous lymph filled regions and one (Thompsons) procedure even attempted to build a bypass for the lymph system. These surgeries includes the Kondolean Procedure, The Charles Procedure, The Sistrunk procedure (1918), The Homans-Miller procedure (1936), Miller/Sistrunk staged excision operation, The Thompson Procedure, and The Buck Fascia Procedure.


Lymphedema Surgeries

The approaches to the surgical treatment of lymphedema fall into two categories. Either, one attempts to ablate the offending tissue, leaving behind only those tissues drained by the competent lymphatic system. Alternatively, attempts are made to augment lymph flow or egress from the lymphadematous extremity by 1) attempting to establish communication between the superficial, compromised lymphatics, and the deep, competent system; 2) the provision of an alternative route of lymph drainage (external); 3) the construction of direct lymphatic to venous anastomoses.

Yale Medical School


Kondolean Procedure (1912)

One of the earliest procedures is the Kondolean procedure (1912). It involves resection of subcutaneous lymphedematous tissue as well as creating a fascial window as a means of establishing communication between the superficial and deep lymphatics. Apparently, the fascial window does not work, and only the tissue resection part of this procedure is still used, and erroneously referred to as the Kondolean procedure.

Yale Medical School


The Charles procedure (1912)

The Charles procedure (1912) is an ablative procedure whereby the affected subcutaneous tissue is resected down to muscle fascia and the area covered with skin grafts taken from the resected specimen. This procedure is no longer performed. The Charles procedure, as an eponym for the surgical treatment of leg edema, is actually a longstanding misnomer, seeing as Sir Richard Henry Havelock Charles is known for describing a treatment for scrotal lymphedema in 1901, having treated a series of 140 patients with this condition. Sir Havelock had never treated a patient with leg edema, but in 1950, Sir Archibald McIndoe, an eminent British plastic surgeon wrote an article in which he mistakenly claimed that Sir Charles had treated a patient with leg edema with excision of subcutaneous tissue and skin grafts back in 1912. Since then, the error has been propagated throughout the years.

Yale Medical School


The Sistrunk procedure (1918)

The Sistrunk procedure (1918) is an ablative procedure like the Charles procedure, after which the resected areas are covered with skin flaps.

. . . .

The Homans-Miller procedure (1936)

The Homans-Miller procedure (1936) is a modification using thin skin flaps to cover the resected area. Using particularly thin skin flaps, Miller was able to achieve an aesthetically pleasing result. Miller elevates an anterior and posterior flap from both a medial and lateral incision, raising flaps approximately 1 cm thick. The underlying lymphedematous tissue is excised down to muscle fascia. The skin flaps are trimmed and sutured into position. Good aesthetic and functional results are obtained with this procedure, which is now considered the standard ablative approach used in the treatment of forearm and upper extremity lymphedema. However, occasionally second or even third operations are required to obtain the maximum benefit.

Yale Medical School


The Thompson Procedure

The Thompson Procedure is actually a combination type using techniques of both the Charles and the Miller surgeries. The limb is first debulked, the a flap ofskin was sewn into the muscle of the limb with anticipation that flap would act as a "wick" drawing the fluids into the deeper lymphatics.

I had three of these procedures done from 1971 - 1973. In desperate hopes by my doctors I could be helped. They were performed by Dr. Richard P. Andrews and Dr. Christopher Haugy at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

The effectiveness of the surgeries is doubtful and the procedure has been somewhat discarded.

Pat O'Connor - Lymphedema People


The Thompson Procedure

The Thompson dermal flap procedure attempts to merge dermal lymphatics with the deep system by burying a deepithelialized dermal flap. A long flap similar to that used in the Miller procedure is raised and instead of the excess tissue being excised it is deepithelialized and buried, thinking that communications between the superficial and deeper tissue will develop, although there has never been documentation of this, as any benefit with this procedure could well be solely due to the excision of tissue. In addition, the viability of this long random pattern flap is questionable, and the procedure as a whole has not become particularly popular.

Yale Medical School


Lymphedema Debulking Surgery on a 2 year old

I have long been an outspoken opponent on the use of debulking surgeries for lymphedema patients. In my article Complications of Debulking Surgery, I shared my own experience with this proceure and the long term effects on my left leg.

In our Children with Lymphedema Group, we recently had a discussion on this and one of our members sent the following post. It is one of those rare instances when I am left speechless. I feel such anger and sadness in what has been done to a prescious little two year old girl.

"I have not read what others have posted yet because I read emails in order of first received, but I am guessing that you are getting a lot of responses “against” debulking surgeries. Not having any experience with these procedures myself, I communicate with a mother whose 9-year old daughter is now unable to walk (probably for life) because of repeated surgeries (including debulking) that she has undergone at the insistence of doctors who promised things they could not deliver. I actually don’t know what to say to this poor woman when she tells me that her daughter’s leg is permanently oozing lymphatic fluid and that she changes the dressings on her legs every few hours because they are soaking wet. She tells me that she cries every day and blames herself for inflicting soooo much pain and agony on her daughter. She said that before the first surgery (age 2) her daughter was able to walk. Up to that point, her daughter’s LE had not been treated properly (MLD, bandaging, compression, etc…) so her right leg was pretty big and she was desperate to try anything that was a cure or fix, but 6 years later and many, many surgeries to correct each previous one, her daughter is permanently using a wheelchair and has to be home schooled because her leg is worse than she can even explain to me. After so many surgeries (who only knows what combination of different surgeries she has had), her right leg/foot is now shorter (doesn’t reach the floor) and her foot is turned completely in (not facing straight out) so she can not plant her foot on the ground. Oh and her foot is also completely limp (apparently they must have damaged muscle and tendons and bones too). So what I’m trying to say is to be very careful about what a doctor claims to be able to do because you may end up making an already difficult situation completely tragic. If debulking surgeries worked, all LE patients would be in line to have them done and there would be no need for the tedious (but effective) treatments such as MLD and daily bandaging and compression garments. I would love to be able to offer Sophie a quick fix, even if it entailed a surgery and recovery, but any reputable therapist will not even humor you by speaking of these procedures. Please use your “Mommy judgment” and don’t rush into anything. If you speak Spanish, I’m sure this mother would be willing to speak to you and offer some advice as well. Unfortunately for her, hind sight was 20/20 and now she regrets her decisions every day of her life."

Pat O'Connor


An Insight to The Early Reason For the Kondoleon and Thompson's Procedures

Kondoleon excised strips of deep fascia while Sistrunk (1917) modified this procedure to excise subcutaneous tissue as well by raising a flap. However, Berthwhistle and Gregg (1928) reported that the deep fascia regrew in 3 months time. The uptake of lymph is due in these patients to the rich vascular bed of the muscle rather than its lymphatic system. This may be the reason via it seems to act even when both the superficial and the deep systems are effected (A.K. Henri, 1921; Peer, 1955). Thompson (1962) described an operation for lymphoedema which involved transposing a flap of dermis with the epidermis shaved off under the deep fascia. He believed that the dermis which is rich in lymph supply would drain directly into the muscle rather than depend on transmission via the subcutaneous tissue. He later (1967, 1971) emphasised on placing the flap on the direction of lymph flow. 

The contraindications to his operation were:

1. Extreme obesity

2. Hyperkeratotic warty skin changes

3. Hypoplastic lymph channels

4. Mild cases (i.e. those requiring only cosmetic relief) 

Harvey (1969) found improvement of lymph flow (as measured by RIHSA clearance) after Thompsons operation. Sawhney (1974) could not confirm this and said that results were due to excision of subcutaneous tissue only. In 3 patients, he found RIHSA clearance and leg circumference to revert to the same pre- operative level after a gap of 6 months to 2 years. There is a high incidence of sinus and fistula formation due to necrosis of the embedded flap. (Browse, 1986). 

Miller (1973, 1975) uses plain excision of subcutaneous tissue undermining from a 1.1/2 inch thick strip of the skin. He used staged procedure for medial and lateral sides. He emphasised on the preservation of the cutaneous nerves. Good results were shown in 6 patients in a follow up of 2-6 years by RIHSA and clinical studies.

Both Miller and Thompson (1967) emphasised on the use of strict bed rest to decrease edema before and after surgery. Miller suggested suspending the leg from an overhead bed frame using a Thomas splint to provide dependent drainage. 

** Editor's note:  Now decades after the introduction of these surgeries, we know that they are contraindicated for lymphedema and should not be used except for the most advanced severe cases, such as exist in lymphatic filariasis.***

**See:  Complications of Lymphedema Debulking Surgery**



C. Campisi, F. Boccardo

Romanian Journal of Hand and Reconstructive Sugery




Anuar I Mitre*, Miguel Modolin, Sami Arap, Marcus Ferreira, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Introduction and Objective: Several factors may cause progressive penis and scrotum swelling associated with an intense local inflammatory process, thickened dermis and lymphatic vessel ectasia. Besides the unaesthetic aspect, the disease evolution may determine voiding problems, sexual dysfunction, lack of local hygiene, infection and even difficult walking in extreme cases. We report our experience with the surgical treatment of genital lymphedema using the modified Charles procedure.

Methods: Between January 1998 and February 2000 fourteen patients with average age of 42.7 years (15-72) with severe lymphedema of the penis and scrotum of different etiologies (table) were treated by the modified Charles surgery. All patients were unable to engage in sexual intercourse due to the lymphedema. Two patients had difficult walking and most complained of voiding problems caused by the excessive penile soft tissues. The procedure consisted in removing all the inflammatory soft tissues of the penis and scrotum, preserving only the basis of the scrotum, which is usually normal. The testicles and spermatic cords are isolated and closure of the scrotum is accomplished with the healthy local skin flap from the preserved scrotal basis. A split thicken skin graft is used to cover the penile shaft. A tubular scrotal drain was left in place for 48 hours.

Results: Median operative time was 2.5 hours (range 2 to 3.5 hours). No significant operative complication was observed. The minimum follow-up was two years. All patients were satisfied with the surgical treatment and benefited in both the cosmetic and functional aspects. All were able to regain sexual function and the voiding dysfunction was alleviated. Only one patient needed an additional scrotum reduction.

Conclusions: Severe genital lymphedema is an unusual condition that can be successfully treated with reconstructive surgery. The modified Charles procedure is a safe and effective operation for these patients.

Translated from Portguese

Uro Today


Surgical Management of Lymphedema

There have been several questions on our Lymphedema forum asking about the surgical treatment options for lymphedema so I decided to provide a general discussion of the surgical management of lymphedema. The are several different surgical approaches to the treatment of lymphedema. For the sake of simplicity, most of the techniques involve the formation of an anastamosis between the lymphatic system and the venous system. An anastamosis is essentially a bridge or conduit from the lymphatic system to the venous system. The goal of these microvascular surgeries is to form a channel between the pooled and blocked lymphatic system and the venous system so that the venous system can remove the accumulated lymphatic fluid.

A brief review the physiology of the lymphatic system is in order to help understand these surgical techniques. Arterial, or oxygenated blood is pumped from the heart to the various tissues. The oxygen is removed from the blood by the cells and cellular waste products are dumped into the blood from the cells. The deoxygenated blood is the venous blood and it flows back to the heart where it is pumped to the lungs to pick up more oxygen.

All cells are bathed by a small amount of fluid that circulates around the cells and then drains into the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system arises from these tiny spaces between cells. In many ways, the lymphatic and venous system are similar since they both function to remove excess waste from cells. The lymphatic system differs from the venous system because it is a much more delicate system of channels. In addition, the volume of lymphatic flow is less than 10% of the flow of the venous system. The lymphatic system is so delicate that in many places the walls of the lymphatic channels are only a few cell thick. These channels are often difficult to identify under the microscope and it takes a trained eye to identify them. The lymphatic channels converge into larger channels and finally drain into the venous system before entering the heart.

These lymphatic and venous systems, while separate, run in parallel. Therefore, a bridge can be formed between the two systems allowing for the drainage of excess fluid from an obstructed lymphatic system. As you might imagine, such bridges would have to be very small. In addition, once formed, flow could go from the lymphatic system to the venous system, but flow could also go from the venous system to the lymphatic system. Since the lymphatic system is frequently obstructed in cases of lymphedema, the lymphatic system is more likely to be a higher pressure than the venous system and the flow is likely to go from the lymphatic system to the venous system thereby alleviating the condition of lymphedema.

While the concept of forming a surgical channel to remove excess lymphatic fluid is very appealing, forming an effective and stable anastamosis between obstructed lymphatic vessels and the venous system is technically very difficult. The trials that report on these techniques are often very small, the follow-up is often short and there is inadequate information about what happens to the patients in cases where the surgery was ineffective. A paper entitled, Microsurgical lymphovenous anastomosis for treatment of lymphedema: a critical review(1) was published from the Mayo Clinic several years ago and the authors followed their patients for an average of three years after the surgery. Their trial was also small, involving only 18 patients. The patients were mixed, some had secondary lymphedema, some had filariasis and some had primary lymphedema. 14 patients were evaluated and of these 14, 5 had improvement, 5 were unchanged and 4 had progression of their lymphedema at the time of last follow-up. The authors concluded that there was no objective evidence supporting the value of microsurgical treatment for lymphedema.

One of the main concerns about using surgical approaches to the management of lymphedema is the probability of making the condition significantly worse. Patients with lymphedema have enough problems without making the condition worse with an invasive surgical procedure. One of the critical questions that must be addressed by these studies is the complication rate and the extent of worsening of edema experienced by these patients. There will be discussion of the surgical approach to the treatment of lymphedema at the upcoming NLN conference and I look forward to learning of any new and effective treatments.

One of the more exciting possibilities is the use of growth factors that selectively stimulate the growth of lymphatic vessels. These growth factors have been identified recently and research is ongoing to understand how they work and whether they will be of benefit in the treatment of lymphedema. While this is only in the earliest stages of research, such technology offers the promise of effective therapy in the future.

One of the problems with these by-pass surgeries is that the by-pass tract becomes blocked soon after the surgery. We learned this while studying cardiac by pass surgeries and surgeries to by pass obstructed veins in the legs. Since obstruction of the lymphatic by pass channels also appeared to occur, anastomoses were performed in dogs to determine the rate of blockage of lymphatic venous by-pass surgeries (2). By 8 months, 75% of the anasotmoses were blocked. The authors concluded that the rate of blockage was high; therefore, chances of success were better when several anastomoses were performed in the early stages of lymphedema, before significant tissue fibrosis and complete loss of lymphatic valvular function occurred.

There have been relatively few papers written about these techniques from centers in the United States in recent years. Many of the publications have come from Russia, China and Japan.

In a Russian study, 152 patients were followed for a period of 2 to 6 years after surgery to form an anastomosis between the lymphatic and venous systems (3). Approximately 2/3 of the patients demonstrated improvement; however, 1 of 3 patients did not improve or got worse. Only the abstract is available in English and the authors did not report the percent of overall percent changes in limb volume. In addition, they did not discuss the whether complications of the surgery were observed.

In China, 110 patients with lymphedema of the were treated with microsurgery forming an anastomosis between lymphatics and veins (4). Ninety-eight patients with lymphedema of the extremities were followed-up for 26 months and about 2/3 of the patients demonstrated improvement. In those patients, the average reduction in circumference of the affected limb was 59%. However, there was no discussion of the long-term effects of the surgery or the results or complications among the patients that did not respond to the surgery.

In Australia, 52 patients were treated by microlymphatic surgery (5). Significant improvement was observed in 22 patients (42 percent), with an average reduction of 44 percent of the excess volume. However, long-term results were not available. In addition, the authors concluded that better results can be expected with earlier operations because the patients usually have less lymphatic disruption.

A recent article from Japan, reports the use of microsurgical lymphaticovenous implantation for the treatment of chronic lymphedema (6). This technique involves placing a lymphatic shunt in the area of obstruction. Only 8 patients were treated with this method and larger studies are need to assess the long-term benefit of this technique.

One of the main concerns about using surgical approaches to the management of lymphedema is the probability of making the condition significantly worse. One of the critical questions that must be addressed by these studies is the complication rate and the extent of worsening of edema experienced by these patients. There will be discussion of the surgical approach to the treatment of lymphedema at the upcoming NLN conference and I look forward to learning of any new and effective treatments.

One of the more exciting possibilities is the use of growth factors that selectively stimulate the growth of lymphatic vessels. While this is only in the earliest stages of research, such technology offers the promise of effective therapy in the future.

Tony Reid MD Ph.D


Peninsula Medical, Dr. Reid's Corner


1. Gloviczki P, J Vasc Surg 1988 May;7(5):647-652. Microsurgical lymphovenous anastomosis for treatment of lymphedema: a critical review.

2. Gloviczki P, J Vasc Surg 1986 Aug;4(2):148-156. The natural history of microsurgical lymphovenous anastomoses: an experimental study.

3. Zolotorevskii, Khirurgiia (Mosk) 1990 May;5:96-101. Late results of lymphovenous anastomoses in lymphedema of the lower extremities.

4. Huang GK Langenbecks Arch Chir 1989;374(4):194-199. Results of microsurgical lymphovenous anastomoses in lymphedema--report of 110


The surgical management of lymphedema.


Savage RC.

The treatment of lymphedema remains a formidable task for the patient and physician. However, most patients with both primary and secondary lymphedema can be managed satisfactorily by conservative means. Surgical intervention for lymphedema should be considered only after a serious trial of medical management. Although no present surgical technique offers cure, significant improvement is possible by a variety of methods. The staged excision of skin and subcutaneous tissue, the Charles procedure and the dermal flap by Thompson are still the most popular techniques in the United States. Axial and myocutaneous flaps and microsurgical bypass procedures are currently under investigation and may hold promise after additional study. Future experimental and clinical studies should concentrate on long term follow-up study with objective clinical and roentgenographic documentation of improvement.

Publication Types:
Historical Article


Surgical Management of Lymphedema


Limited Segmental Resection of Symptomatic Lower-Extremity Lymphodystrophic Tissue In High-Risk Patients

Tanya M. Oswald, MD, William Lineaweaver, MD
South Med J 96(7):689-691, 2003. © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Posted 08/12/2003
Abstract and Introduction


Limited Segmental Resection of Symptomatic Lower-Extremity Lymphodystrophic Tissue In High-Risk Patients
The surgical management of lymphedema.



Lymphedema Surgical Therapy

Author: Don R Revis, Jr, MD, Consulting Staff, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine

Excerpt - E Med

Surgical therapy: Surgical treatment is palliative, not curative, and it does not obviate the need for continued medical therapy. Moreover, it is rarely indicated as the primary treatment modality. Rather, reserve surgical treatment for those who do not improve with conservative measures or in cases where the extremity is so large that it impairs daily activities and prevents successful conservative management. The goals of surgical therapy are volume reduction to improve function, facilitation of conservative therapy, and prevention of complications. A myriad of surgical procedures have been advocated, reflecting a lack of clear superiority of one procedure over the others. In general, surgical procedures are classified as physiologic or excisional.

Physiologic procedures attempt to improve lymphatic drainage. Multiple techniques have been described, including omental transposition, buried dermal flaps, enteromesenteric bridging, lymphangioplasty, and microvascular lympholymphatic or lymphovenous anastomoses. None of these techniques has clearly documented favorable long-term results. Further evaluation is necessary. Moreover, many of theses physiologic techniques also include an excisional component, making it difficult to distinguish the two approaches.

Excisional techniques remove the affected tissues, thus reducing the lymphedema load. Some authors advocate suction-assisted removal of subcutaneous tissues, but this technique is difficult because of the extensive subcutaneous fibrosis that is present. Additionally, this approach does not reduce the skin envelope, and the lymphedema often rapidly recurs. Suction-assisted removal of subcutaneous tissue followed by excision of the excess skin envelope has no clear advantage over direct excisional techniques alone.

The Charles procedure is another quite radical excisional technique. This procedure involves the total excision of all skin and subcutaneous tissue from the affected extremity. The underlying fascia is then grafted, using the skin that has been excised. This technique is extreme and is reserved for only the most severe cases. Complications include ulceration, hyperkeratosis, keloid formation, hyperpigmentation, weeping dermatitis, and severe cosmetic deformity.

Staged excision has become the option of choice for many authors and is described in greater detail. This procedure involves removing only a portion of skin and subcutaneous tissue, followed by primary closure. After approximately 3 months, the procedure is repeated on a different area of the extremity. This procedure is safe, reliable, and demonstrates the most consistent improvement with the lowest incidence of complications.

Preoperative details: Prior to surgery, appropriate documentation is necessary to evaluate the outcome of treatment. This includes photographic documentation as well as extremity measurements. Ideally, these measurements are of limb volume by water displacement, although some rely on circumferential measurements alone. Obtain measurements and photographs at the same time of day each time, document both affected and contralateral extremities, and preferably conduct documentation in the morning after extremity elevation in bed overnight.

Institute strict elevation and pneumatic compression, if available, 24-72 hours prior to surgery. This allows maximum excision to be performed. The extremity must also be free of infection at the time of surgery, and a single dose of preoperative intravenous antibiotic is administered.

Intraoperative details:

After the establishment of appropriate anesthesia, the operative field is sterilized and draped according to surgeon preference.

A pneumatic tourniquet is placed at the root of the extremity and insufflated after the extremity has been exsanguinated.

A longitudinal incision is made along the entire extremity, and skin flaps 1.0-1.5 cm thick are elevated.

Subcutaneous tissue is then excised, taking care not to injure peripheral sensory nerves.

Some authors also excise a strip of deep fascia, but this should not be performed around joints because it may cause instability.

Once the subcutaneous excision is complete, redundant skin is resected. Often, a strip that is 5-10 cm wide may be removed.

The wound is closed over suction drains.
Postoperative details:

Postoperatively, the extremity is immobilized in a splint and elevated while the patient is placed on strict bedrest.

Antibiotics may be continued until drain removal, according to surgeon preference.

Drains are typically removed at 5-7 days postoperatively, as dictated by a decrease in drain output.

Sutures are removed at 10-14 days and replaced by Steri-Strips.

Measure the patient for a new compression garment when the new dimensions of the extremity have stabilized.

After approximately 10 days, the patient may gradually begin dependency on the extremity with compression bandages or an elastic garment in place.
Follow-up care:

Once discharged from the hospital, the patient should be seen regularly in the outpatient clinic.

Patients must wear compression garments for 4-6 weeks continuously, and dependency on the involved extremity may be gradually increased at the discretion of the treating physician.

Once healed to physician satisfaction, the patient may return to a normal routine of elevation at night and compression garment therapy during the day.

Follow-up visits should include documentation of circumferential measurement or water displacement of the affected and contralateral extremities as well as photographic documentation.

When staging procedures, allow approximately 3 months between procedures to allow complete healing of the initial operative site.



Lymphedema Surgery

What are the Kondolean and the Charles procedures?


Lymphedema Surgery

The surgical treatment of scrotal lymphedema


Lymphedema Surgery

How does Thompson's dermal flap operation differ from the Miller/Sistrunk staged excision operation?


Lymphedema Surgery

Does lymph node vein anastomoses work?

Placement of Venous Shunts


Surgical Treatments for Lymphedema
*editors note - for information only -  does not mean I endorse the procedures*
Stanford Hospital and Clinics


Penile reconstruction for a case of genital lymphoedema secondary to proteus syndrome. 2011


Surgical repair of idiopathic scrotal elephantiasis (lymphedema). 2008


Congenital lymphedema of the penis: a method of reconstruction.

Tapper D, Eraklis AJ, Colodny AH, Schwartz M.

Congenital lymphedema of the genitalia has profound physical and psychological consequences for the growing child. Extensive resection of this tissue and reconstruction by skin grafting offers a less than satisfactory cosmetic result. Over the past year we have employed a method of total excision of the lymphedematous tissue of the penile shaft with cosmetic reconstruction without skin grafting. A circumferential incision was made 5-10 mm from the coronal sulcus and deepened to the level of Buck's fascia. The skin and subcutaneous tissue were then completely dissected away from the penis. The skin was everted and all of the abnormal lymphedematous tissue excised up to the dermal skin margin. The skin was then tailored to the size of the penile shaft and reapproximated. This method has been employed in two patients with the advantages of (1) shorter hospitalization, (2) lack of morbidity associated with the skin donor site, and (3) satisfactory cosmetic results.


Scrotal Surgical treatment of penile and lymphedema.


Lymphedema and microsurgery.

Campisi C, Boccardo F.

Department of Specialist Surgical Sciences, Anesthesiology and Organ Transplants, Lymphology and Microsurgery Center, St. Martino's Hospital, University of Genoa, Largo Rosanna Venzi 8, 16132 Genoa, Italy.

Lymphedema is often diagnosed by its characteristic clinical presentation. In some cases, however, instrumental investigations are necessary to establish the diagnosis, particularly in early stages of the disease. One of the primary problems for microsurgery in treating lymphedema consists of the discrepancy between the excellent technical possibilities and the insufficient results in reduction of lymphedematous tissue fibrosis and sclerosis. Long-term results indicate that microsurgical operations have a valuable place in the treatment of obstructive lymphedema (primary or secondary) and should be the treatment of choice in these patients. Improved results can be expected with earlier microsurgical operations because patients referred earlier usually have less lymphatic disruption and fibrotic tissue. Advanced diagnostic methods and improvements in operation techniques have modified indications for surgical therapy of lymphedema. This article systematically reviews the published literature on the microsurgical treatment of lymphedema to the present. Copyright 2002 Wiley Liss, Inc.



Index of articles for  Lymphedema Treatment :

Lymphedema Treatment


Acupuncture Treatment

Aqua Therapy for Postsurgical Breast Cancer Arm Lymphedema

Aqua Therapy in Managing Lower Extremity Lymphedema

Artificial Lymph Nodes

Artificial Lymphatic System

Auricular Therapy

Ball Massage technique

Compression Bandages for Lymphedema

Chi Machine

Choosing a Rehabilitation Provider or Physical Therapist

Complex Decongestive Therapy

Complications of Lymphedema Debulking Surgery

Compression Garments Stockings for Lymphedema

Compression Pumps for Lymphedema Treatment

Deep Oscillation Therapy

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diuretics are not for lymphedema

Elastin Ampules

Farrow Wrap

Flexitouch Device - Initial Observations

Flexitouch Device for Arm Lymphedema

How to Choose a Lymphedema Therapist

Infrared Therapy for Lymphedema

Kinesio Taping (R)

Kinesiology Therapy

Laser Treatment

Laser Treatment - Sara's Experience

Liposuction Treatment

Low Level Laser

Lymph Node Transplant

Lymphatic venous anastomoses

Lymphedema Treatment Programs Canada

Lymphedema Sleeves

Lymphedema Surgeries

Lymphedema Treatments are Poorly Utilized

Manual Lymphatic Drainage


Naturopathy: A Critical Appraisal

Patient self-massage for breast cancer-related lymphedema

Reflexology Therapy

Self Massage Therapy – Self MLD

Short Stretch Bandages


Treatment Information for Lymphedema Forum

Why Compression Pumps cause Complications with Lymphedema


Join us as we work for lymphedema patients everywhere:

Advocates for Lymphedema

Dedicated to be an advocacy group for lymphedema patients. Working towards education, legal reform, changing insurance practices, promoting research, reaching for a cure.


Pat O'Connor

Lymphedema People / Advocates for Lymphedema


For information about Lymphedema\

For Information about Lymphedema Complications

For Lymphedema Personal Stories

For information about How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound

For information about Lymphedema Treatment

For information about Exercises for Lymphedema

For information on Infections Associated with Lymphedema

For information on Lymphedema in Children

Lymphedema Glossary


Lymphedema People - Support Groups


Children with Lymphedema

The time has come for families, parents, caregivers to have a support group of their own. Support group for parents, families and caregivers of chilren with lymphedema. Sharing information on coping, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Sponsored by Lymphedema People.



Lipedema Lipodema Lipoedema

No matter how you spell it, this is another very little understood and totally frustrating conditions out there. This will be a support group for those suffering with lipedema/lipodema. A place for information, sharing experiences, exploring treatment options and coping.

Come join, be a part of the family!




If you are a man with lymphedema; a man with a loved one with lymphedema who you are trying to help and understand come join us and discover what it is to be the master instead of the sufferer of lymphedema.



All About Lymphangiectasia

Support group for parents, patients, children who suffer from all forms of lymphangiectasia. This condition is caused by dilation of the lymphatics. It can affect the intestinal tract, lungs and other critical body areas.



Lymphatic Disorders Support Group @ Yahoo Groups

While we have a number of support groups for lymphedema... there is nothing out there for other lymphatic disorders. Because we have one of the most comprehensive information sites on all lymphatic disorders, I thought perhaps, it is time that one be offered.


Information and support for rare and unusual disorders affecting the lymph system. Includes lymphangiomas, lymphatic malformations, telangiectasia, hennekam's syndrome, distichiasis, Figueroa
syndrome, ptosis syndrome, plus many more. Extensive database of information available through sister site Lymphedema People.



Lymphedema People New Wiki Pages

Have you seen our new “Wiki” pages yet?  Listed below are just a sample of the more than 140 pages now listed in our Wiki section. We are also working on hundred more.  Come and take a stroll! 

Lymphedema Glossary 


Arm Lymphedema 

Leg Lymphedema 

Acute Lymphedema 

The Lymphedema Diet 

Exercises for Lymphedema 

Diuretics are not for Lymphedema 

Lymphedema People Online Support Groups 



Lymphedema and Pain Management 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) 

Infections Associated with Lymphedema 

How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound 

Fungal Infections Associated with Lymphedema 

Lymphedema in Children 


Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Extraperitoneal para-aortic lymph node dissection (EPLND) 

Axillary node biopsy

Sentinel Node Biopsy

 Small Needle Biopsy - Fine Needle Aspiration 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Lymphedema Gene FOXC2

 Lymphedema Gene VEGFC

 Lymphedema Gene SOX18

 Lymphedema and Pregnancy

Home page: Lymphedema People

Page Updated: Dec. 6, 2011