Lymphaticovenular anastomosis to prevent cellulitis associated with lymphoedema

Br J Surg. 2014 Oct;101(11):1391-6. doi: 10.1002/bjs.9588. Epub 2014 Aug 13.


Background: One of the complications of lymphoedema is recurrent cellulitis. The aim was to determine whether lymphaticovenous anastomosis (LVA) was effective at reducing cellulitis in patients with lymphoedema.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of patients with arm/leg lymphoedema who underwent LVA. The frequency of cellulitis was compared before and after surgery. The diagnostic criteria for cellulitis were a fever of 38·5°C or higher, and warmth/redness in the affected limb(s).

Results: A total of 95 patients were included. The mean number of episodes of cellulitis in the year preceding surgery was 1·46, compared with 0·18 in the year after surgery (P < 0·001).

Conclusion: LVA reduced the rate of cellulitis in these patients with lymphoedema.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anastomosis, Surgical / methods
  • Arm
  • Cellulitis / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Lymphatic Vessels / surgery*
  • Lymphedema / complications
  • Lymphedema / surgery*
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Secondary Prevention