Ileocecal vascularized lymph node transfer for the treatment of extremity lymphedema: A case report

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Vascularized lymph node (VLN) transfer has been of high interest in the past decade for the treatment of lymphedema, since it has been shown to be effective in reducing limb volumes, decreasing infectious episodes and improving quality of life. Multiple donor sites have been described in the quest for the optimal one. Herein, we describe a novel lymph node flap option based on the ileocolic artery and vein. The ileocecal vascularized lymph node (IC-VLN) flap was used in the management of a 33-year-old male patient with lower extremity lymphedema secondary to left inguinal trauma. The patient had previously underwent a pedicled omentum flap transposition with minimal improvement in limb size and persistent episodes of infection. At 15 month follow-up, the IC-VLN flap improved the lymphatic drainage in the affected limb with a mean limb circumference reduction rate of 26.3%. No donor site complications or further episodes of infection were noted. According to our findings, the IC-VLN flap may be another option for VLN transfer in very selected cases. Nevertheless, larger series with a longer follow-up are required to analyze the efficacy and long-term results of this flap.

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