American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Lymphedema Treatment

Surgical Options

Lymphedema is a condition characterized by painful swelling in the extremities, which can be addressed with surgical treatment options.

What results should I expect after lymphedema surgery?

The long-term results of lymphedema surgery can help lessen the physical and emotional impact of lymphedema. Many patients experience reduction in extremity circumference or volume over several months after surgery. In addition, other symptoms such as extremity tightness and heaviness may improve after surgery. Aggressive nonsurgical therapies are advised after surgery to maintain the best outcomes, depending on the type of procedure performed. If the lymphedema improves, patients may gradually decrease their dependence on nonsurgical strategies. If lymphedema worsens, additional surgical interventions can be considered.

When you go home

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure, and additional procedures may be necessary.

Be careful

Following your physician's instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.


Patient Care Center