Microsurgery for management of primary and secondary lymphedema

Assi Drobot, Maxim Bez, Ibrahim Abu Shakra, Fahed Merei, Kamal Khatib, Amitai Bickel, Samer Ganam, Grigori Bogouslavski, Nour Karra, Badran Mahran, Walid Kassis, Leonid Kogan, Denis Drobot, Michael Weiss, Isao Koshima, Eli Kakiashvili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of lymphaticovenular anastomosis (LVA) in patients with lymphedema. Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of 70 patients suffering from primary or secondary lymphedema who underwent LVA surgery with indocyanine green fluorescence lymphangiography. Postoperative evaluation included qualitative and quantitative volumetric assessment and analysis. Limb volume was measured by circumferential tape measurement volumetric method, in which the limb is subdivided into five segments and each segment's circumference is measured. Results: LVA was performed in 70 patients, 22 with primary lymphedema and 48 with secondary lymphedema. The difference in preoperative upper limb volume was 35% with mean postoperative follow-up of 9 months. The mean number of lymphovenous bypasses was 3.9. The reduction in limb volume at 3, 6, and 12 months was 40.4%, 41%, and 45%, respectively. Patients with early-stage lymphedema had significantly higher volume reductions than patients with late-stage lymphedema at 3, 6, and 12 months (48% vs 18%, 49% vs 22%, and 65% vs 31%; P <.001). For lower extremity lymphedema, the preoperative volume differential was 25.5%. The mean postoperative follow-up was 9 months. The reduction in limb volume at 3, 6, and 12 months was 28%, 37%, and 39%, respectively. Conclusions: LVA surgery is a safe and effective method of reducing lymphedema severity, especially in upper extremity lymphedema at an earlier disease stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-233.e1
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

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© 2020 Society for Vascular Surgery


  • Lymphaticovenular anastomosis
  • Lymphedema
  • Microsurgery


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