HOBOKEN, N.J., Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery (ECA Plastic Surgery) is pleased to announce the availability of a new surgical procedure, the Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT), for patients who are suffering from Secondary Lymphedema and are appropriate surgical candidates.
Lymphedema is a condition that can be caused by different treatments for breast cancer. For example, when lymphatic vessels are disrupted by surgery or radiation therapy, fluid normally drained by these vessels accumulates, and can lead to increased pressure and inflammation in the affected arm. Over time, this can produce scar tissue, which compresses nerves and vessels, usually in the area of the armpit, and results in pain, numbness, swelling, weakness, and decreased overall function. Until recently, the only treatments available for lymphedema consisted of a variety of physical therapy applications.
ECA Plastic Surgery now offers lymphedema patients, who are candidates, a Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT) as an option to treat lymphedema. This procedure has been used with great success in Europe and was recently introduced in the United States.
VLNT consists of a process in which healthy lymph nodes are harvested and detached from an unaffected site and placed into the area where the lymph nodes have been removed or damaged. Using microsurgical techniques, the ECA Plastic Surgery team can transplant those lymph nodes harvested to the affected area by re-establishing its vascular supply. This can allow new lymphatic channels to grow and allow fluid to drain where it could not drain before.
This procedure has shown promising long-term results with reduction of swelling in affected areas, and an overall decrease, if not complete resolution, of lymphedema-related symptoms.
"We are very pleased that we can offer this procedure to those suffering from Lymphedema," said ECA Plastic Surgery co-founder Dr. Dean R. Cerio. "Although it will not result in an 'overnight' solution, we really can help improve the quality of life for people suffering from this truly debilitating condition that may have resulted from their breast cancer treatment."
A pre-operative evaluation is required to ensure potential patients are suitable candidates. Interested participants can obtain information on this procedure by visiting ECA Plastic surgery's website at www.ecaplasticsurgery.com.
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SOURCE East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery