Department of Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan. email@example.com
To evaluate the use of ultrasound elastography as a basis for determining the most appropriate sites for lymphaticovenular anastomosis (LVA) for treatment of lymphoedema.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Preoperative elastography and LVA were performed in 11 patients (11 legs) with leglymphoedema, including two cases of primary oedema and nine of secondary oedema.
The mean number of LVAs applied per leg was 4.4 (range 3-7). The mean reduction in the leg circumference was 91.7%, and 10 of the 11 cases (90.0%) were improved. Hardness was reduced from a mean of 1.6 before surgery to 0.9 after surgery, and improvement was also noted in 10 cases (90.9%). The severity of oedema was determined in five regions in each leg, and was classified as elastography stage (ES) 0 in 11 regions, ES1 in 23, ES2 in 15, and ES3 in six.
These results demonstrate the value of ultrasound elastography for the diagnosis of early-stagelymphoedema and determination of LVA sites. This is the first report of diagnosis of lymphoedema using elastography and the findings suggest that this procedure followed by LVA could be used as a new therapeutic method for early-stage lymphoedema.