Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema

  • Heli KavolaEmail author
  • Sinikka Suominen


Lymphedema is a common long-term complication of breast cancer treatment with a significant impact on quality of life and possibly life-threatening consequences. Major risks factors are axillary lymph node dissection, radiation and obesity. Early detection and treatment may limit progressive arm volume increase. Conservative treatment consists of weight reduction/control, exercise, skin care and compression garments. Some patients may benefit from decongestive lymphatic therapy if the symptoms are not controlled by compression garment alone. Surgical management, such as liposuction, lymphatico-venous anastomoses and vascularized lymph node transfer, can be considered in selected patients, although objective long-term results are limited.


Lymphedema Obesity Axillary lymph node dissection Radiation Compression garment Decongestive lymphatic therapy Lymphatico-venous anastomosis Vascularized lymph node transfer Liposuction 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plastic SurgeryHelsinki University HospitalHelsinkiFinland

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