stands the test of time and improves quality of life
A bold idea from an orthopedic doctor at Skåne University Hospital in the south of Sweden has proven to be the only long-lasting surgical intervention for patient suffering from arm and leg lymphedema, and the statistic talk for itself.
For 25 years, liposuction combined with lifelong compression treatment, has proven to give a complete reduction without recurrence for more than 300 patients.
Lymphedema can either be congenital (primary) or a result of treatment (secondary). Secondary course is the most common and may occur after cancer treatment of mainly breast cancer, gynecological cancer, prostate cancer, malignant melanoma, or tumors in the head/throat. Lymphedema is a chronic and complex condition that has major physical, psychological and social implications for the quality of life of patients suffering from it.
The standard treatment is conservative, and involves draining the lymph fluid through compression using a compression sleeve, but many patients continue to have problems. The reason is that compression cannot further remove the excess limb volume if the lymphoedematous limb has changed from a pitting state to a non-pitting state. This means a change from lymph to fatty tissue.
Using liposuction to treat lymphedema began more than 25 years ago at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö, Sweden. Dr Håkan Brorson, the man behind this technique and his team with physiotherapist occupational therapist has since then treated over 300 patients.
To be cured from lymphedema is not possible with techniques known today. A combination of lifelong compression treatment and liposuction surgery is the only guaranteed way. Previous research, done at Lund University was presented in 2018 and shows that only three months after liposuction treatment, the patients’ level of pain and fatigue was reduced and the patients’ perceived physical and mental health increased.