CC BY 4.0 · Arch Plast Surg
DOI: 10.1055/a-2336-0150
Idea and Innovation

Distally-based Lymphatic Preventative Healing Approach (dLYMPHA) – a modification of the classic approach

Allen Wei-Jiat Wong
1   Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN541849)
,
Nadia Hui Shan Sim
1   Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN541849)
,
Coeway Boulder Thng
2   Plastic Surgery, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN541849)
,
Wenxuan Xu
3   Department of Economics, Toulouse School of Economics, Toulouse, France
,
Hui Wen Chua
4   Breast Service, Department of General Surgery, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN541849)
,
Sabrina Ngaserin
4   Breast Service, Department of General Surgery, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN541849)
,
Shermaine Loh
5   Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN371018)
,
Yee Onn Kok
6   Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery Service, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN541849)
,
Jia Jun Feng
6   Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery Service, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN541849)
,
Pearlie Woon Woon Tan
7   Department of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN541849)
,
Benita Kiat-Tee Tan
4   Breast Service, Department of General Surgery, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore (Ringgold ID: RIN541849)
› Author Affiliations

The treatment of breast cancer has seen great success in the recent decade. With longer survivorship, more attention is paid to function and aesthetics as integral components of treatment. However breast cancer related lymphedema (BCRL) remains a significant complication. Immediate lymphatic reconstruction is an emerging technique to reduce the risk of BCRL, Lymphatic Microsurgical Preventive Healing Approach (LYMPHA) being the most widely used approach. Despite promising results, it is often difficult to find suitably sized recipient venules and perform the microanastomoses between mismatched vessels deep in the axilla. Moreover,high axillary venous pressure gradients and potential damage from radiotherapy may affect the long-term patency of the anastomoses. From an ergonomic point of view, performing lymphaticovenular anastomosis (LVA) in the deep axilla may be challenging for the microsurgeon. In response to these limitations, we modified the technique by moving the lymphatic reconstruction distally – terming it distally-based LYMPHA (dLYMPHA). 113 patients underwent mastectomy with axillary clearance (AC) in our institution from 2018 to 2021. 26 underwent subsequent dLYMPHA (Group 2), whereas 87 did not (Group 1). 17.2% (15 patients) and 3.84% (1 patient) developed BCRL in Group 1 and 2 respectively (p 0.018). Lymphatics and recipient venules suitable for anastomoses can be reliably found at in the distal upper limb with better size match. A distal modification achieves a more favorable lymphaticovenular pressure gradient, vessel match and ergonomics whilst ensuring a comparably low BCRL rate.



Publication History

Received: 05 December 2023

Accepted after revision: 28 May 2024

Accepted Manuscript online:
30 May 2024

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