Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer

Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer

Lymphedema, also sometimes known as lymphoedema or lymphatic edema, is a condition characterized by swelling in an arm or leg caused by the impaired flow of the lymphatic system. Occasionally, a patient may find that both their upper and lower limbs are affected. If you have been diagnosed with lymphedema, you may be undergoing intense decongestive lymphatic therapy to help control your symptoms. However, there is another solution.

Dr. LoTempio is one of only a few surgeons in the world with the relevant knowledge and specific training to be able to treat lymphedema with the revolutionary microsurgical procedure known as Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT). Dr. LoTempio’s education comes directly from Dr. Corrine Becker, a pioneer in the VLNT procedure that has revolutionized how lymphedema patients can achieve relief from their symptoms.

Who is affected by lymphedema?

There are several reasons why a person may develop lymphedema. In the United States, the condition is most commonly seen in patients who have had surgery to treat breast cancer, particularly so if they have followed their surgery with radiation treatment.

Filariasis - which is a parasitic infection, genetic abnormalities with the lymph vessels and damage to or obstruction of normally-functioning lymph vessels and nodes are other common causes of lymphedema.

What is Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT)?

VLNT surgery involves taking lymph nodes with intact blood supply from the groin and relocating them to the underarm, also known as the axilla. The blood vessels that provide circulation to these lymph nodes are then reattached to the blood vessels in the axilla, which will enable them to drain fluid that is trapped in the lymphatic system. This may be done standalone or in conjunction with a DIEP flap breast reconstruction procedure.

After the procedure, patients will be given a manual lymphatic massage and will need to wear compression garments which will help minimize swelling.

Benefits of VLNT Surgery

Patients who undergo VLNT surgery have reported seeing a significant improvement in the degree of swelling and discomfort that they usually suffer from, as well as a reduction in the number of soft-tissue infections that they experience. Some patients who have found that their mobility in their arms has been affected as a result of swelling will also start to see a better range of motion in the limb.

Better lymphatic drainage also helps to improve the appearance of the upper arms, helping them seem smoother and more toned. This boosts patient confidence and helps you to enjoy wearing shorter sleeves without feeling self-conscious about the size of your upper arms.

How quickly will I see the results of my VLNT surgery?

In most cases, patients will see a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within four to eight weeks of the transfer. Maximum results can be seen after two years.

Book your Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT) Surgery with Dr. LoTempio today

If you are suffering the painful and debilitating effects of lymphedema, VLNT surgery may be the solution that you are looking for. Dr. Maria LoTempio is delighted to offer this revolutionary new treatment to patients in and around our New York offices. To discuss the procedure further, or to arrange your private consultation, please contact our offices.