Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Tokyo, Japan. email@example.com
Lymphatico-venous anastomosis (LVA) is used to resolve lymph retention in lymphedema. However, the postoperative outcome of lower limb lymphedema is poorer than that for upper limb lymphedema, because of the location lower than the heart level. Improvement of the therapeutic outcome requires application of as many anastomoses as possible in a limited operation time, particularly since there is a positive correlation between the number of anastomoses and the therapeutic effect of LVA. In this case, we described a method to increase the efficiency of lymphatico-venous anastomosis for bilateral severe lower limb lymphedema through efficient identification of lymph vessels and veins suitable for anastomosis using indocyanine green (ICG) contrast imaging and AccuVein, a noncontact vein visualization system, respectively. Ten LVAs were succeeded at seven incisions, and the operation time was 3 hours and 5 minutes. Accuvein can be used for identification of subcutaneous venules with a diameter of about 0.5-1.0 mm. We used this approach in surgery for a case of bilateral lower limb lymphedema, with a resultant improvement in the surgical outcome.