J reconstr Microsurg 2016; 32(01): 028-033
Lymphedema is a common chronic and progressive condition complicating cancer treatment. Patients undergoing lymph node dissection and radiation therapy required for oncological treatment in breast and pelvic cancers are at high risk for secondary lymphedema. Reconstruction of the damaged region with a fatty flap containing lymph nodes may restore the anatomy. It has been postulated that the cytokines included in the fat surrounding the nodes VEGF-c allow regrowth of the lymphatic vessels. Hypoplasic congenital lymphedema are also positively improved by the autologous lymph node transfer, thanks to the same principles.