For survivors of breast cancer lymphedema is their greatest survivorship burden. Modern surgical techniques to treat lymphedema are effective at reducing limb volume, symptoms of lymphedema, episodes of cellulitis, and improving patient quality of life. Physiologic procedures, including lymphovenous bypass (LVB) and vascularized lymph node transplant (VLNT), restore physiological lymphatic function within the affected extremity. In patients with post-mastectomy breast cancer-related upper extremity lymphedema that desire breast reconstruction, microvascular abdominal flap breast reconstruction can be combined with superficial inguinal (groin) VLNT to provide breast reconstruction and treatment of lymphedema in a single operation. This article reviews the indications, preoperative assessment, surgical technique, outcomes, and tips and pearls for performing this procedure.
- deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap (DIEP flap)
- vascularized lymph node transplant (VLNT)
ASJC Scopus subject areas