Innovative Surgeries Cut Risk Of Lymphedema By 90%

Lymph node transplant, bypass surgeries shown to help prevent, reverse lymphedema

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Though she`s been cancer-free for years, Tina Washington, of Columbus, OH, lives with lymphedema, permanent and sometimes painful swelling in her left arm and hand. Lymphedema is a common side effect of breast cancer surgery, and until now there have no options to cure it. Now, doctors at Ohio State`s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute are among only a handful nationally offering two surgeries that can reverse lymphedema or prevent it all together. To learn more about innovative lymph node bypass and transfer surgeries, click here: bit.ly/1i7RP0q

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – For millions of women who have overcome breast cancer, the challenge is not over. Up to 40 percent of women who undergo surgery, radiation and chemotherapy will develop lymphedema as a side effect of their treatment. Lymphedema is a persistent and often painful condition that can cause swelling in a woman’s arms, legs, hands or feet.

“Lymphedema is not only a constant reminder of their battle with cancer, it’s an extremely uncomfortable condition that greatly impacts their quality of life,” said Roman Skoracki, MD, chief of oncologic plastic surgery at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James).

“We’ve never had many options for treating patients with lymphedema, but fortunately that’s changing.”

Skoracki is among a handful of surgeons in the United States performing two novel surgeries that are shown to be effective in reducing lymphedema. During lymph node bypass surgery, Skoracki uses supermicrosurgical techniques to create shunts between the lymphatic channels and very small blood vessels to re-direct the flow of lymph fluids around the affected area, which in some cases can prevent lymphedema from forming at all. “Using this technique, we’re able reduce a woman’s risk of developing lymphedema by 90 percent,” he said.

Skoracki is also pioneering lymph node transfer surgery, where he harvests healthy lymph nodes from another part of the body and transfers them to the area of a woman’s body affected by lymphedema.

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Though she`s been cancer-free for years, Tina Washington of Columbus, Ohio, lives with lymphedema - permanent and sometimes painful swelling in her left arm and hand. Lymphedema is a common side effect of breast cancer surgery, and until now there were no options to cure it. Surgeons at Ohio State`s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute are among just a handful nationally offering two surgeries that can reverse lymphedema or prevent it all together. To learn more about innovative lymph node bypass and transfer surgeries, click here: bit.ly/1i7RP0q

Dr. Roman Skoracki checks the lymph nodes of Emmie Cheses, at Ohio State`s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Facing up to a 40 percent chance of developing lymphedema after her breast cancer surgery, Cheses opted for preemptive lymph node bypass surgery. During the surgery, Skoracki used small shunts (tiny tubes) to channel fluid around certain lymph nodes, cutting Cheses` risk from 40 percent to less than 1 percent. Lymphedema is the most common side effect of breast cancer surgery, causing permanent and often painful swelling in the arms, legs, hands or feet. Details on innovative bypass and transfer surgeries here: bit.ly/1i7RP0q

Emmie Cheses of Bexley, Ohio, has an exam with Dr. Roman Skoracki at Ohio State`s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Cheses recently had breast cancer surgery and, like many women, faced up to a 40 percent chance of developing lymphedema, which causes incurable swelling that can occur in the arms, legs, hands or feet. Thanks to a preemptive and innovative lymph node bypass surgery, Cheses` risk was reduced from 40 percent to less than 1 percent. See how the surgery works to prevent lymphedema and how lymph node transfer surgery can help reverse the condition in patients who already have it: bit.ly/1i7RP0q

Millions of women who overcome breast cancer have to live with a constant reminder of it due to lymphedema. An incurable and uncomfortable swelling in a woman`s extremities, lymphedema is the most common side effect of breast cancer surgery, striking up to 40 percent of patients. Now, surgeons at Ohio State`s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute are among only a handful nationally offering two surgeries that can reverse lymphedema or prevent it all together. Details: bit.ly/1i7RP0q

Facing up to a 40 percent chance of developing lymphedema after breast cancer treatment, Emmie Cheses of Bexley, Ohio, looked for treatment options to prevent lymphedema from ever occurring. Lymphedema, permanent and often painful swelling in the extremities, is the most common side effect of breast cancer surgery and, until now, there was no cure. But Cheses chose to undergo preemptive lymph node bypass surgery at Ohio State`s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, which virtually eliminated her risk of developing the condition. Lymph node bypass, along with an innovative lymph node transfer surgery, are two new options patients have to avoid lymphedema or reverse it once it forms. Details on the surgeries here: bit.ly/1i7RP0q

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James)