Patients who suffer from chronic lymphedema, whether inherited or caused by factors such as tumor surgery, often face significant limitations including recurring infections and cosmetic concerns. As a result, many seek ways to improve their condition. Hereby, lymphatic surgery is an important option alongside traditional conservative treatments such as decongestion and compression therapy.
It is generally agreed that microsurgery is most effective when the lymphedema is softer and less advanced, with patients urged to consider operative treatment if conservative methods have not led to significant improvement after 6-12 months. In chronic lymphedema, the lymphatic channels are under pressure. Similar to arterial hypertension, the high pressure in the vessels damages the lymphatic channels. They break down over time. Therefore, one should not wait too long to consider surgical intervention. Lymphatic surgery can partially restore the drainage and lower the pressure in the lymphatic system. The conservative measures, such as manual lymphatic drainage and compression therapy, can work much better again and do not lead to a further increase in pressure in the lymphatic channels.
While delaying surgical intervention can make reconstructive procedures less effective, the decision to proceed with surgery should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account individual factors such as the speed of disease progression. Ultimately, patients seeking microsurgical treatment for lymphedema should carefully research facilities and seek the advice of medical professionals before making a decision.
What can you expect from lymphatic surgery? While complete cure is rare, significant improvement is achievable in most cases, and at the very least, the progression of the disease can be halted and the need for conservative measures reduced. In some cases, patients may even completely recover.
Patients may worry that this type of therapy could be harmful, but recent advances in surgical procedures have decreased the risk. For example, instead of multiple anastomoses, surgeons now typically only perform one or two, which results in a higher flow rate and reduces the risk of closure. Additionally, if a blockage does occur, other lymphatic vessels can still function, reducing the risk of worsening symptoms. In free lymph node transfer, only dispensable lymph nodes are removed using reverse lymphatic mapping techniques, sparing important lymph nodes.
Good results are typically only achieved when surgical and conservative therapies work hand in hand. In selected cases where there are no longer enough lymph channels and tissue hardening predominates, liposuction can be effective. However, it's important to note that conservative therapy should continue even after the procedure.
To ensure you're in a good center, look for patient testimonials and ask about the center's average number of surgical cases, technical equipment, pre-operative diagnostics, post-treatment plan, and whether the surgeon works with conservative lymphatic clinics. The treating team should have expertise, a clear plan, and high motivation to care for you. Seeking a second opinion is always an option. Colleagues from conservative lymphatic clinics may also offer helpful advice.
On our website, you will find information about lipedema and the treatment options we offer at our medical office in Munich. Lipedema is a condition that almost exclusively affects women and is characterized by an uneven distribution of fat in the legs, arms, and buttocks. This fat distribution disorder can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
We offer various treatment options for lipedema, including power-assisted liposuction and - if necessary - thigh and arm lifting. These procedures can help remove the uneven fatty tissue and alleviate the symptoms.
Our experienced team of plastic surgeons work closely with you to develop an individualized treatment strategy tailored to your needs and goals. We place great emphasis on comprehensive consultation and education, as well as gentle and safe implementation of the treatment. Our high level of expertise, also in the field of surgical lymphology, ensures you a holistic treatment approach.
If you have further questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact us. We are happy to assist you and look forward to meeting you.
The benefits of liposuction at our facility include:
Advantages of liposuction (fat removal) by our experienced plastic surgeons:
These Site are translate by Ms Adelheid Philipp.