Many people fighting cancer are forced to undergo surgery to remove lymph nodes from the area around their tumors. This surgery is especially common in cases of breast cancer. Typically, a cancer spreads by small numbers of cancerous cells spreading to the three nearest lymph nodes to the tumor. During treatment, these lymph nodes are biopsied and removed if they show signs of cancerous cells.
Effects of Lymph Node Removal
The lymphatic system is your body's way of managing waste removal. Lymph nodes are spread throughout your body, just beneath the skin's surface, to flush out harmful toxins. When these lymph nodes are removed due to breast cancer, your body is less effective at removing waste. The result can be blockages, infections, and even intense physical pain and swelling in the area. This is known as lymphedema. A lymph gland transplant addresses these symptoms by taking healthy lymph nodes from other areas of the body and moving them to the affected area to restore your body's ability to remove toxins.
Lymph Node Procedures
The steps of a lymph node transplant are fairly simple. New technology allows doctors to use dyes and advanced tests to determine which lymph nodes are safe for harvesting. This ensures that you will not experience lymphedema at the removal site once the nodes are transplanted, which would only exacerbate the problem. This process is called mapping. Once the donor lymph nodes are selected, typically from the groin or upper body, a simple surgery is done to remove the nodes. They are then moved to the area where you are experiencing lymphedema. Special care will be used to reopen any damaged vessels carrying lymphatic fluid so that the newly placed node can continue functioning normally.
Lymph node transplants help provide relief for patients suffering from lymphedema following cancer treatments. They can be used to reduce pain and discomfort, as well as improve your body's ability to resume flushing toxins from the area. This is especially important for patients who have undergone lengthy cancer treatments. The transplant process is typically done in conjunction with other treatments to ensure the body is able to fight off infections and get rid of any infections or blockages.
Are Lymph Node Transplants Safe?
Thanks to today’s medical advancements, lymph node transplants offer a safe, typically effective option for patients hoping to relieve the symptoms of lymphedema. In the past, the transplant process posed a minor risk of lymphedema at the donor site. However, new imaging technology and testing options allow the doctors at Vanguard Aesthetic Plastic Surgery to carefully evaluate the best lymph nodes for transplant. By using mapping technology to determine the ideal lymph nodes for the procedure, our Fort Lauderdale cosmetic surgeons are able to drastically improve a patient’s results.
Lymph Node Transplant Recovery
The recovery process for lymph node transplant surgery is similar to that of other common surgical procedures. Typically, patients will have a small drain to remove excess fluid, located at the incision sites. During in-hospital recovery, compression garments are not generally used, but doctors may recommend wrapping or bandaging for patients experiencing post-surgery swelling. Most patients can expect a short hospital stay of just a few days.
During the first two weeks of recovery, pressure should be avoided at the operation site. Some patients may use an abduction sling to adequately limit movement and pressure, and rest is required.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Lymph Node Transplant?
Typically, the lymph node transplant procedure is specifically intended for patients who have successfully completed the cancer treatment process. Good candidates for a lymph node transplant include:
- Individuals who have finished the cancer treatment process, particularly various cancer surgeries to remove lymph nodes affected by cancer cells or tumors
- Patients dealing with discomfort, pain, or other difficult symptoms resulting from lymphedema after lymph node removal
- Patients with lymphedema who have not been able to achieve full recovery with physical therapy, compression garments, or other common, non-invasive treatment options
How to Choose a Florida Cosmetic Surgeon for Your Lymph Node Transplant
For many patients, finding the right plastic surgeon can feel like a daunting task, especially when it comes to choosing a doctor you trust for your lymph node transplant procedure. If you’re searching for the best plastic surgeons in South Florida, these simple tips can help you choose an excellent provider:
- Choose a practice led by highly experienced doctors, preferably ones who can provide clear documentation of their extensive education, professional development, and leading role in the medical field. The best cosmetic surgeons in Florida generally maintain memberships in professional organizations, commit to ongoing education and training, and share their expertise with others in the industry.
- Schedule a one-on-one lymph node transplant consultation, so that you can meet with the plastic surgeon and determine whether they are the right fit for your needs. At the consultation, the doctor will provide their professional recommendation and suggested treatment options.
Schedule a Lymph Node Transplant Consultation in Fort Lauderdale, FL
For patients considering lymph node transplants in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Vanguard Aesthetic Plastic Surgery provides expert-level services from top-rated Florida cosmetic surgeons. Many lymph node transplant patients experience a significantly improved quality of life after completing the procedure, allowing them to return to their everyday life with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. Our surgeons have extensive training and education in the latest advancements in lymph node transplants, enabling them to provide optimal results to a wide variety of patients.
Interested in learning more about how a lymph node transplant may be a life-changing procedure for you? Contact Vanguard Aesthetic Plastic Surgery today and let us provide you with the information you need to take the right steps toward a healthier, happier future.