Lymph Node Transfer (LNT)
Lymphoedema can be a challenging side effect of cancer treatment and can result in permanent swelling of the limb (upper or lower) and an increased risk of skin infections. Whilst the mainstays of lymphoedema treatment involves maintaining a healthy lifestyle, meticulous skin care and compression garment therapy novel surgical techniques, such as LNT, can have a positive effect in reducing limb swelling.
The procedure works by transplanting lymph node flaps, using microsurgical techniques, from distant areas in the body (groin, lateral chest, abdomen) into the affected limb. These vascular flaps both induce lymph channel growth and soak up excess lymphatic fluid that can result in reductions in limb swelling. The procedure is best suited to those patients who have had lymphoedema for a while and, in whom, other options for lymphatic reconstruction (e.g. LVA) are not an option.