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Did you know they can do surgery for lymphedema?

Ritzy's picture
Posts: 4382
Joined: Aug 2009

I didn't know that.  A friend of mine was talking about it to me and she sent me this link from breastcancer.org about it.  She said a woman just recently had it done.  All I can say is..WOW  It would be great if it works.


Have you heard of it?



Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

Yep, I've heard about it.  I understand there are only a few docs in the US that do lymph node transplants, but apparently it has worked well for many patients in Europe.

My personal feelings on this are that my LE is pretty mild, so I don't need/want any additional surgery.  I also have adhesions in the area, so I doubt it would be possible/succesful in my case.  Finally, with Mets to my lymph nodes, I don't want to do anything that will push lymph fluid around.  Even the natural circulation scares me.

I can see where someone with more severe LE would want to explore this more.  Good topic though, thanks for bringing it up.



Pink Rose
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2012

Thanks Ritzy for this article.  I would think that this would be a great option for someone that suffered with severe lymphedema. 



Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

I've hearrd of 3 procedures being use but don't want to do any of them.

One involves using lyposuction to pull out the fat cell.  From what I've seen/read about lypo suction unless major changes in diet and exercise - the fat will justbuild back up somewhere else in the body.

In another procedure, they are taking lymph nodes from other parts of the body and transplanting them.  My big concern is developing LE in the area(s) that they are taken from.   A node does nott have to be removed to cause problems - damage during surgery can cause it .  I have a friend who deals with it in her leg after relatively minor knee surgery where no nodes were removed.  Some women who only have 1 node removed during lumpectomies or mastectomies who develope LE.

The one I know the least about is where they say they are 'building bridges' in the LE arm.

At this time, I want nothing to do with any of them.  Partly because from what I've read you still have to continue with your self care and garments to keep it under control - is not a 'cure'.  Yes - I do deal with LE all the time but it does not keep me from doing anything I want or being the very active person I am.  I have my day garments, night garment and Flexi Touch machine so can keep it under control - no guarantee on rather surgery would help or hinder - so I'll stay like I am and enjoy my life.  Actually I do much better in summer than winter as winter here are brutal and I do to the base gym several times a week I don't get as much 'active' exercise as I do in the summer - I ride our horses and my bike, I mow my yard and 3 other to help out some who need it and I flyfish among some things that can't during winter.

Just how I feel

Winyan - The Power Within


VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9085
Joined: Aug 2009

potential surgery vs exercise -- I am happy to see options for those suffering from lymph edema.


Ritzy -- thank you for posting the links!


Vicki Sam


DianeBC's picture
Posts: 3886
Joined: Jun 2009

This is good that besides PT, that you could have surgery if needed.  Thanks!

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