What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a type of swelling that occurs in one or both of your arms or legs. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of, or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. More rarely, it is caused by an inherited abnormality of the lymphatic channels but it may also be caused and worsened by infection.


What can I expect?

Surgery, in conjunction with other lymphedema reduction treatments such as lymphatic drainage physiotherapy and compression therapy, is helpful especially when used in the early-stage of the disease. 


Both vascularised lymph node transfer (the transplantation of a normal lymph node to treat lymphedema) done on small blood vessels, or a lympho-venous bypass (connecting a lymph vessel in the affected limb to a nearby vein to bypass the damaged area and restore the flow of lymph fluid back to the venous system) using super-microsurgery can be used for the treatment of lymphedema, depending on your individual needs.


How is the surgery performed?

This specialised and intricate surgery is performed under general anaesthesia using specialised instruments and microscopes.


What can I expect?
A hospital stay of two to three days is usually required.

FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Dr Conrad Pienaar Email

Vincent Pallotti Hospital (H/O)

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Cape Town


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