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Lymphedema Surgery

Here you will find all the medical information about lymphedema.

Treatment for lymphedema

Find out more about the different techniques we perform.

WELCOME TO LYMPHEDEMA SURGERY

LYMPHEDEMA

Lymphedema is a disorder caused by the accumulation of fluid (lymph) in the extremities, as consequence of a malfunction of the lymphatic system.

DIAGNOSIS OF LYMPHEDEMA

The diagnosis of lymphedema is made by different methods: Clinical history, Physical examination, lymphography and indocyanine green.

TREATMENT

A personalized treatment with surgical and non-surgical techniques has shown to improve the quality of life for patients with lymphedema.

MEET US

Dr. Maldonado and Dr. Cristobal are experts in lymphedema treatment. Meet us clicking the link below.

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a disorder caused by the accumulation of fluid (lymph) in the extremities, as consequence of a malfunction of the lymphatic system. The affected limb (arm or leg) becomes swollen, generating a feeling of heaviness, pain, and may even present skin infections and wounds. The lymphatic system is a complex anatomical structure that carries the lymph. It has multiple functions, such as carrying out the immune response (defending the body, transporting lymphocytes and other cells of the immune system) or draining the interstitial fluid (the fluid that is between the body’s cells).

Diagrama de ejemplo de linfedema en brazo derecho

TYPES OF LYMPHEDEMA

Primary lymphedema

This type of lymphedema occurs spontaneously (without prior surgery or direct damage to vessels or lymph nodes), is usually familial (hereditary), and develops before the fourth decade of life.

Secondary lymphedema

This type of lymphedema occurs as consequence of damage to the lymphatic system. In Europe, the main cause of lymphedema is lymph node resection for breast cancer treatment. Other tumors may also require surgery on the lymph nodes causing lymphedema (for example, the treatment of melanoma). Adjuvant cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy, are also the cause of secondary lymphedema.

Between 5% and 40% of patients who have been treated for breast cancer (axillary radiotherapy, lymph node dissection, sentinel lymph node resection) develop lymphedema in the upper limb. It can appear immediately after surgery, or years after surgery. The disability caused by lymphedema, as well as the risk of complications such as infection, are one of the most important sequelae of breast cancer.

 Meet us

Dr. Andrés A. Maldonado

Specialist in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery

Dra. Lara Cristóbal

Specialist in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery