CRS Plastic Surgery Offers Innovative Solution to South Florida Patients Suffering From Lymphedema
FT. LAUDERDALE – CRS Plastic Surgery, a plastic surgery team located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, is making vascularized lymph node transfer available to South Florida based patients suffering from breast cancer-related lymphedema. Dr. Michael C. Cheung and Dr. Christopher Low are the first to perform this unique microsurgical treatment in the South Florida area.
Lymphedema is the abnormal buildup of fluid under the skin, which causes painful swelling in the body. The condition is most commonly caused by removal of, or damage to the lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment, such as a mastectomy. Patients suffering from breast cancer-related lymphedema often see their quality of life impacted as they become susceptible to chronic infections, pain, numbness, skin tears and impaired mobility.
Traditionally, lymphedema has been treated medically or with physical therapy, massage therapy and the use of compression garments. Ultimately, however, these treatments only address the symptoms of lymphedema, but never the disease itself.
Vascularized lymph node transfer is a microsurgical procedure that involves the transfer of healthy lymph nodes from one part of the body, along with blood supply, to another part of the body that is missing lymph nodes. In the case of breast cancer patients, healthy lymph nodes are harvested from the groin area. The blood vessels of those lymph nodes are then attached to blood vessels in the axilla (armpit), stimulating new growth. Results may include reduced swelling in the affected limb, increased mobility and overall improved physical appearance.
“We are offering a new treatment plan to South Florida women who have been told previously that their condition is just something they have to live with,” expresses Dr. Low, who trained in Paris under Dr. Corinne Becker, the French surgeon who pioneered vascularized lymph node transfer.
While the benefits of vascularized lymph node transfer surgery may be significant, the procedure had only been offered by a select few of the top plastic surgery and cancer centers nationwide. Breast cancer patients from South Florida were once faced with travelling across the country for this procedure, often adding to the complications associated with lymphedema. These patients now have the opportunity to be treated by the team at Ft. Lauderdale based CRS Plastic Surgery.
“Caring for a breast reconstruction patient is all-encompassing,” says Dr. Cheung. “Many of them face long-term issues, and there are things we take for granted every day that these patients cannot do. This procedure can lead to an improvement in their overall quality of life.”
About CRS Plastic Surgery
CRS Plastic Surgery is a Fort Lauderdale based practice featuring award-winning plastic surgeons with a focus on aesthetic and reconstructive surgical results, combined with patient education, consultation and care. CRS offers the full spectrum of plastic surgery including breast implants, facelifts and injectables while also specializing in microsurgery, providing unique options for patients faced with breast cancer, trauma and burns. For more information, please visit http://crsplasticsurgery.com