The Center for Lymphatic Restoration at Swedish Medical Center

Lymphedema is most often the result of an injury or as a side effect of cancer treatment where lymph nodes are removed or can be brought on by certain cancer-fighting treatments like tamoxifen and radiation therapy. For other patients, primary lymphedema is present at birth or develops during puberty or adulthood, and the cause is unknown.

We offer advanced treatment options for patients with all stages of lymphedema.

Offering both surgical and non-surgical treatment options as well as a partnership with Oncology Rehab, our truly comprehensive program combines innovative technique with traditional treatments and cutting-edge technology to treat every individual.

We understand with a comprehensive program comes complexity, that’s why a patient navigator will be there every step of the way. This central point of contact helps to coordinate care between the members of our interdisciplinary treatment team, which includes:

  • Plastic and Microvascular Surgeons
  • General Surgeons
  • Interventional Radiologists
  • Certified Lymphedema Therapists

How is lymphedema treated?

There is no cure for lymphedema, but it can be treated effectively through early diagnosis, care by a specialized healthcare team and patient attention to the affected limb. Our experts first meet with a patient to discuss his/her diagnosis and needs. We then create a personalized plan based on imaging results and the needs of the patient.

Non-surgical treatment

Our non-surgical treatment options may be used as a first step to treatment or in conjunction with a surgical option. These include:

  • Manual drainage
  • Massage
  • Compression garments
  • Skin care
  • Exercise
  • Diet

Surgical options for lymphedema treatment

Surgical options may help improve quality of life. These options are typically used in conjunction with non-surgical treatment options to find the most success. Surgical options may include:

Early Stage Lymphedema

Lymphovenous Anastomosis (LVA)

This surgical procedure connects an intact healthy lymphatic vessel to a vein. This allows the lymph fluid to drain through the circulatory system.

More Advanced Lymphedema

Debulking Procedures Such as Suction-Assisted Protein Lipectomy (SAPL)

This procedure is used when the lymphedema is long-standing and has progressed to fat. This liposuction procedure debulks fatty tissue in the swollen limb.

Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT)

Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer is a procedure in which healthy lymph nodes are moved from one part of your body to the limb with lymphedema. They may be moved from the groin, underarm or neck. The transferred lymph nodes can then move lymphatic fluid that has been trapped, relieving pressure in the affected limb.

To make an appointment, please contact call (303) 788-6467.