Mary is a 54 year-old lady who came to see us regarding the lymphoedema in her left leg. Almost twenty years previously she had been diagnosed with cancer, and had both surgery and radiotherapy to the lymph glands at the top of her leg. This lead to lymphoedema of her left leg starting soon after her treatment. She had managed her lymphoedema with compression stockings in the years following her cancer treatment, but despite this the lymphoedema had progressed. She felt the leg was swollen and heavy, which made it difficult to walk meaning that she often tripped up. Also, she had suffered from cellulitis, and had blisters at the top of her leg that regularly leaked lymphatic fluid.
The full story
Mary consulted with Dominic and Sinclair at the Oxford Lymphoedema Practice. After listening to her story and concerns, they carefully examined her leg, and at the same consultation undertook ICG Lymphography which showed Mary the extent of damage to her lymphatic system, and guided the surgeons as to what treatment to recommend. The potential treatments were discussed with Mary, and she had plenty of time to discuss her options.
Mary decided to go ahead with LVA surgery. She came to the Manor Hospital in Oxford on the morning of her surgery, and underwent the operation under local anaesthetic (meaning she was awake during the procedure) with two surgeons operating at the same time. Her recovery afterwards was very rapid, and she was able to go home on the same day.
Mary’s recuperation was very straightforward, and she came back to clinic three months after the operation. Even at that early stage, the improvement was notable. The blisters had stopped leaking fluid and were healed, her leg was softer and lighter, and she had no episodes of cellulitis. Measurements showed an improvement in the size of her leg. At her six-month clinic follow-up appointment, things had improved even more with the size of her leg now very similar to the normal side. Mary’s ability to do normal activities, such as driving to work, was much improved, leading to a much better quality of life.
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Lymphoedema is a disorder of the lymphatic system. This system is a natural circulation system in the body that helps to remove waste and cleanse the body. Often people only...
Show how surgery for lymphoedema at Oxford Lymphoedema Practice can be life-changing. Please note that the names of our patients have been changed to protect their confidentiality.
Our surgeons have pioneered supermicrosurgery for lymphoedema in the UK, performing these operations since 2012. Our state of the art techniques allow our experienced specialists to plan a personalised treatment regime to help with your lymphoedema