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Donor-Site Lymphedema Following Lymph Node Transfer for Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema: A Systematic Review of the Literature.

TitleDonor-Site Lymphedema Following Lymph Node Transfer for Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema: A Systematic Review of the Literature.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsDemiri, E., Dionyssiou D., Tsimponis A., Goula O. Christina, Mιlothridis P., Pavlidis L., Spyropoulou G. Alexandra, & Foroglou P.
JournalLymphat Res Biol
Date Published2018 02
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Breast Cancer Lymphedema, Breast Neoplasms, Female, Groin, Humans, Lymph Nodes, Mastectomy, Middle Aged, Surgical Flaps, Transplant Donor Site, Transplantation, Autologous

Abstracts Background: Among current surgical options used for treating breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL), autologous lymph node transfer (ALNT) is shown to provide favorable results. However, postoperative donor-site lymphedema (DSL), following the lymphatic flap harvesting from the groin area, has already been reported. Our aim is to summarize the recent literature for evidence of DSL following an ALNT for BCRL.METHODS AND RESULTS: A PubMed bibliographic search was performed for published studies evaluating donor-site complications following LNT in BCRL patients. We recorded demographic data of the patients, the type of flap used, the follow-up, the donor-site morbidity, and the diagnostic tests performed pre- and postoperatively. Statistical analysis was conducted to document any correlation between the incidence of DSL and the abovementioned recorded parameters. According to our results, 11 studies met the inclusion criteria. From a total of 189 patients, three cases with DSL of the lower limb were reported (1.6%). No statistically significant correlations were found.CONCLUSION: ALNT has become increasingly popular and is considered an effective surgical option for treating BCRL of the upper limb. Although the incidence of postoperative DSL is low, insufficient data on patients' demographics, surgical details, and postoperative assessment do not allow extracting significant correlations. Meticulous technique of lymph node harvesting should be seriously considered to further minimize this infrequent but debilitating complication.

Alternate JournalLymphat Res Biol
PubMed ID29087763


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