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Lymphovenous Bypass

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Lymphovenous bypass surgery is an innovative treatment for lymphedema (build-up of fluid in the arms or legs). It uses specialized microsurgery techniques to help this fluid drain more efficiently, reducing swelling and improving your function and range of motion.

Our fellowship-trained plastic and reconstructive surgeons have advanced training in lymphovenous bypass. They are the only surgeons in South Florida to offer this procedure.


Who is a Candidate?

To qualify for lymphovenous bypass, you should undergo physical therapy and compression treatment for at least six months. If your lymphedema is not improving or your quality of life is not meeting your goals, you may be a candidate for lymphedema surgery.

You should be a healthy weight before your lymphedema surgery. You may not be a good candidate for lymphovenous bypass surgery if you have vascular disease in your legs.


What to Expect

For lymphovenous bypass surgery, you will be asleep under general anesthesia. Anesthesia will help you feel comfortable and avoid pain during your procedure.

Using a specialized microscope, your surgeon will look at the lymphatic channels in your affected limbs, which are less than a millimeter wide. They will use small tools and microsutures thinner than an eyelash to connect your lymph channels to nearby veins. This helps redirect fluid from your lymph channels into your bloodstream so that it drains more efficiently away from your limb.

The surgery takes about four hours. You may go home the same day as your surgery or the next morning. Within a week, you’ll attend lymphedema therapy to help start directing the extra fluid into the new bypass connection. You’ll undergo therapy for about three months, but home maintenance will be important for months afterward. You may also be able to wean off of compression or use compression less often once you complete therapy.

You should also experience decreased pain and tightness and better function and range of motion in your limb.


Why Choose Us?

The only comprehensive lymphedema program in South Florida. As one of only three lymphedema surgery programs in Florida, we offer innovative techniques to prevent and treat this condition. We take a collaborative approach to provide you individualized lymphedema care. Our cancer rehabilitation medicine specialists offer holistic care to improve your function and overall well-being. You won’t find this specialty care anywhere else in South Florida.

Fellowship-trained, highly-specialized surgeons. Our plastic and reconstructive surgeons have extensive fellowship training in microsurgery, the type of surgery required to treat lymphedema.

One of only 71 NCI-designated cancer centers in the United States. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only two cancer centers in Florida that have been recognized by the National Cancer Institute. The team earned this distinction through its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative cancer prevention strategies. Our physicians work to advance the field of lymphedema treatment and prevention with new procedures.

Multidisciplinary care, all in one place. The lymphedema surgery team is part of the multidisciplinary care you can receive at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. All of your physicians and providers, from your oncologist to your physical therapist, your surgeon to your dietitian, all work together to improve your quality of life.

Teaching the next generation of healthcare providers. As an academic program, our physicians train the next generation of doctors and providers in many different specialties to offer high-care for lymphedema. With more providers experienced in lymphedema care, future patients can get the treatment they need.

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