Lymphedema is a disorder caused by a variety of causes including filaria infection.
It results in obstruction of lymph vessels which drain the fluid that is normally accumulated below the skin in our body. As a result of this, swelling of arms and legs develop in the area where these vessels get blocked.
The treatment of lymphedema is primarily by massage, use of compression dressings and compression devices. This help push the fluid back into the vessels.
Advanced cases with extensive skin damage may selectively benefit from further surgical therapy. There are several options that your doctor will discuss with you:
Once lymphatic fluid spills into your surrounding tissues, it can cause inflammation and stimulate fat stem cells to grow. Your surgeon removes this extra fat caused by lymphedema.
Lymphaticovenous anastomosis (also referred to as lymphovenous bypass):
Your surgeon uses microsurgical techniques and equipment to reroute your lymphatic system, bypassing damaged nodes and connecting lymphatic channels directly into your veins.
Vascularized lymph node transfer surgery (lymphovenous transplant):
Your surgeon transplants a group of lymph nodes from a healthy part of your body to the affected area, effectively rewiring the lymphatic system. This is an inpatient procedure with a recovery time of a few days before resuming regular activity.
Charles procedure (skin grafts / Debulking):
The affected tissue is removed and your surgeon uses part of it as skin grafts to repair the area. Skin grafts require more extensive care of the surgical site after your procedure, and it can take up to one month to return to normal activity.
Small plastic tubes are implanted in your limb to conduct lymph across the damaged area
All surgical procedures for lymphatic disease are combined with compression therapy