While surgical options exist to treat lymphedema after axillary lymph node dissection (ALND), the lymphatic microsurgical preventive healing approach (LYMPHA) has been introduced as a preventive measure performed during the primary surgery, thus avoiding the morbidity associated with lymphedema. Here, we highlight details of our operative technique and review postoperative outcomes. For our patients, limb measurements and body composition analyses were performed pre- and postoperatively. Intraoperatively, axillary reverse lymphatic mapping was performed with indocyanine green (ICG) and lymphazurin. SPY-PHI imaging was used to visualize the ICG uptake into axillary lymphatics. Cut lymphatics from excised nodes were preserved for lymphaticovenous anastomosis (LVA). At the completion of the microanastomosis, ICG was visualized draining from the lymphatic through the recipient vein. A retrospective review identified nineteen patients who underwent complete or partial mastectomy with ALND and subsequent LYMPHA over 19 months. The number of LVAs performed per patient ranged between 1-4 per axilla. The operating time ranged from 32-95 min. There were no surgical complications, and thus far one patient developed mild lymphedema with an average follow up of 10 months. At the clinic follow up, ICG and SPY angiography were used to confirm intact lymphatic conduits with an uptake of ICG across the axilla. This study supports LYMPHA as a feasible and effective method for lymphedema prevention.
View details for DOI 10.3390/jcm11010092
View details for PubMedID 35011833