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Title: Free gastroepiploic lymph nodes and omentum flap for treatment of lower limb ulcers in severe lymphedema: Killing two birds with one stone
Authors: Giuseppe Di Taranto
Shih Heng Chen
Rossella Elia
Alberto Bolletta
Vittoria Amorosi
Ngamcherd Sitpahul
Jeffrey C.Y. Chan
Diego Ribuffo
Hung Chi Chen
Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
China Medical University Hospital Taichung
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
Università degli Studi di Bari
Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
Università degli Studi di Sassari
Keywords: Medicine
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2020
Citation: Journal of Surgical Oncology. Vol.121, No.1 (2020), 168-174
Abstract: © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Background and Objectives: In patients with lymphedema, the disruption of the lymphatic network increases skin turgor and fibrosis of subcutaneous tissue, delays wound healing, causing recurrent ulcerations and infections. In these cases, management of ulcers can be challenging. Methods: Between January 2016 and June 2018, patients presenting with lymphedema were enrolled at our Institution. We selected patients with severe lymphedema and ulcers of lower limbs and we performed a surgical approach, involving free gastroepiploic lymph nodes and omentum flap, harvested through laparoscopy. Results: We enrolled 135 patients presenting for lymphedema. Among them, 10 eligible cases underwent excision of the ulcer and reconstruction with omentum flap. Mean age was 57.8 years and average follow-up 24.1 months. Circumferences and skin tonicity significantly decreased from the preoperative period. Lymphoscintigraphy showed improvement of the lymphatic drainage and restoration of lymphatic network. No episodes of infection were recorded in the postoperative period. Conclusions: Our combined procedure merges free flap techniques and lymphedema surgery: omentum covers the defect while providing a new source of lymph nodes, improving the lymphatic networks of the affected limb. This technique can highly increase the quality of life of the patient in a single-stage operation with fast recovery and low donor site morbidity.
ISSN: 10969098
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2020

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