The effect of lymphatico-venous anastomosis for an intractable ulcer at the lower leg in a marked obese patient

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Abstract

Secondary lymphedema occurs after trauma, cancer surgery, or obesity, and wounds in lymphedema can easily become intractable. We report positive results using lymphatico-venous anastomosis (LVA) to treat a post-traumatic lymph fistula and an intractable ulcer in a severely obese patient. A 41-year-old male (BMI 51.8), one year prior, had a traffic injury, and had an 18-cm contusion in his right leg. Six months later, lymph leakage in a 14 cm × 8 cm region and a 5 cm × 3 cm skin ulcer occurred in the center of the wound. We made a diagnosis of lymphedema resulting from obesity, accompanied with lymphorrhea and intractable ulcer. He was unable to reach his legs owing to obesity, making complex physical therapy impossible. We performed LVA under local anesthesia. The lymphorrhea healed 2 weeks after the operation and had not recurred 3 months after the operation. The leg lymphedema improved after the surgery without the compression therapy. In cases of intractable ulcers, suspected of being caused by lymphostasis, treatments indicated for lymphedema, for example LVA, may possibly allow satisfactory wound healing. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 34:64–67, 2014.

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