American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Lymphedema Treatment

Surgical Options

Lymphedema is a condition characterized by painful swelling in the extremities. Surgical treatment options for lymphedema include Lymphatic Bypass Procedures and Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer.

What should I expect during my lymphedema surgery recovery?

Following lymphedema surgery, gauze or bandages may be applied to your incisions. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid following flap procedures.

You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
  • Will there be drains? For how long?
  • When can I bathe or shower?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When can I resume nonsurgical therapies for lymphedema?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

Healing will continue for several weeks while swelling decreases. Continue to follow your plastic surgeon's instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.



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