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Prophylactic Lymphatic Bypass Surgery in Perth & Bunbury

Prophylactic Lymphatic Bypass Surgery

What is prophylactic lymphatic bypass surgery?

Prophylactic lymphatic bypass surgery involves microsurgically connecting lymphatic vessels to the venous system to bypass areas with damaged lymphatic drainage. This procedure, performed concurrently with lymph node dissection, aims to reduce the risk of developing lymphedema after lymphadenectomy.

The surgery does not increase the risk of surgical or postoperative complications and is effective in preventing lymphedema.

In some cases, another specialist surgeon may participate in the surgery. For instance, if the lymph node dissection is part of breast cancer treatment, a breast surgeon will perform it. For skin cancer treatment, Dr. Taylor will handle both the lymph node dissection and the immediate lymphatic bypass surgery.

Who is suitable for prophylactic lymphatic bypass surgery?

Almost all patients who require a lymph node dissection are suitable for a prophylactic lymphatic bypass, at the time of the initial surgery. 

What Can I Expect with Prophylactic Lymphatic Bypass Surgery?

A Quick Overview

Surgery time: 1.5 hours in addition to the lymph node dissection 

Length of stay in hospital: 2-5 nights

Recovery time: The following are approximate times.

No lifting arm above 90 degrees for 4 weeks.

Driving 4 weeks, office work 3 - 4 weeks and

strenuous work/ exercise 6 weeks if the movement will affect this area of the body during healing.

Incision and scar: 5-10 cm incision (through the same incision as the lymph node dissection - no additional)

Things I need to know about Prophylactic Bypass Surgery?

This surgery may not prevent you from developing lymphedema—it aims to reduce the severity of lymphedema you will develop post-lymph node dissection.

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