Combining Autologous Breast Reconstruction and Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer

E. I. Chang
J. Masià
M. L. Smith, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell


© 2018 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Breast cancer patients are at risk for developing postmastectomy lymphedema syndrome of the ipsilateral upper extremity following treatment for breast cancer in the setting of an axillary dissection, postoperative radiation, and chemotherapy. For patients suffering from lymphedema who are also seeking breast reconstruction, combining an autologous abdominal free flap with a vascularized inguinal lymph node transfer provides patients the opportunity to have an aesthetic breast reconstruction as well as the potential to improve their lymphedema in a single operation. The present article aims to provide a description of the salient features of this approach including the preoperative preparation, the surgical technique, the postoperative management and complications, and a summary of the outcomes.