Prophylactic lymphaticovenous anastomosis (LVA) for preventing lymphedema after sarcoma resection in the lower limb: A report of three cases and literature review

Rou Wan, Arif Hussain, Doga Kuruoglu, Matthew T. Houdek, Steven L. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Patients with soft tissue tumors of the lower extremities are at greater risk to develop postoperative disruption of lymphatic vessels. Currently, there is no widely effective cure for lymphatic dysfunction. Therefore, the best strategy is to prevent it and reconstruct efficient drainage as soon as the original pathway is damaged. We present a report of three prophylactic LVA cases after sarcoma resection in the lower limb, and a literature review to show the feasibility of prophylactic LVAs. The patients were 35, 73, and 77 years old, respectively, at the time of the procedure. All three patients had sarcoma in the medial thigh and underwent radiation therapy before the surgery. The locations of the LVAs include the medial thigh and medial and lateral calf. During the surgery, methylene blue and/or indocyanine green were injected to identify lymphatic vessels. Postoperative recovery was uneventful immediately after the surgery. At follow-up visits, all three patients reported improved functions with no significant swelling in the lower limb. One patient experienced a surgical wound infection that resolved after antibiotic admission. Two patients had a history of cardiac diseases, a major risk factor for developing postoperative lymphedema, but these two patients did not develop lymphedema with the treatment of prophylactic LVAs. These results suggest that prophylactic LVA may be an effective strategy to prevent secondary lymphedema after sarcoma resection. Further investigation is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMicrosurgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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