Effective treatment of pelvic lymphocele by lymphaticovenular anastomosis.
Todokoro T., Furniss D., Oda K., Kawana K., Narushima M., Mihara M., Kikuchi K., Hara H., Yano T., Koshima I.
OBJECTIVE: Pelvic lymphocele can be a severe complication associated with surgical procedures such as pelvic lymphadenectomy. Lymphaticovenular anastomosis (LVA) is increasing in popularity as a surgical treatment for lymphedema. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether LVA is an effective treatment for lymphocele, which is caused by an obstruction of the lymphatic flow in a manner similar to the development of lymphedema. METHODS: Eleven female patients, who presented with lymphocele, were treated with LVA. Before the operation, 3 of them were treated with a percutaneous catheter. Lymphocele size and the volume of daily drainage were measured before and after LVA. RESULTS: The lymphocele was completely resolved in 6 patients and partially resolved in the remaining 5 patients. The mean size of the pelvic lymphocele changed from 400 ml (range 50-1050 ml) to 43 ml (range 0-120 ml) (P<0.01). In the 3 patients who had percutaneous drainage catheters, the volume of fluid drained decreased from 340 ml/day to 20 ml/day after LVA. CONCLUSIONS: Our technique is minimally invasive and is performed under local anesthesia. LVA is effective regardless of the size of the lymphocele. Therefore, LVA should be considered as a therapy for lymphocele because of its low invasiveness and its effectiveness in re-establishing circulation of lymphatic flow. Further studies should be performed to compare LVA with other minimally invasive techniques, such as percutaneous catheter and sclerotherapy.