Long-Term Patency of Lymphovenous Anastomoses: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Background:

With advancements in technology and microsurgical techniques, lymphovenous anastomosis has become a popular reconstructive procedure in the treatment of chronic lymphedema. However, the long-term patency of these anastomoses is not clear in the literature.

Methods:

A systematic review of the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases was performed to assess the reported long-term patency of lymphovenous anastomoses.

Results:

A total of eight studies satisfied the inclusion criteria. Pooled data from four similar experiments in normal dogs showed an average long-term (≥5 months) patency of 52 percent. The only experiment in dogs with chronic lymphedema failed to show any long-term patency.

Conclusions:

The creation of peripheral lymphovenous anastomoses with a moderate long-term patency rate has become technically possible. However, the long-term results in chronic lymphedema are limited.

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