Effect of a Needle Aspiration in Patients with Lymphedema

암 수술 후 발생한 림프부종 환자의 바늘 흡인술 효과

  • Yang, Gu-Hwan (Departments of Family Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Kwandong University College of Medicine) ;
  • Kwak, Sung-Wook (Departments of Family Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Kwandong University College of Medicine) ;
  • Kim, Sun-Hyn (Departments of Family Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Kwandong University College of Medicine) ;
  • Shin, Young-Tae (Departments of Family Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Kwandong University College of Medicine) ;
  • Hwang, Hee-Jin (Departments of Family Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Kwandong University College of Medicine) ;
  • Park, No-Hyeok (Departments of Radiology Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Kwandong University College of Medicine) ;
  • Yeom, Chang-Hwan (Department of Palliative Medicine, Kangnam St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine)
  • 양규환 (관동대학교 의과대학 명지병원 가정의학교실) ;
  • 곽성욱 (관동대학교 의과대학 명지병원 가정의학교실) ;
  • 김선현 (관동대학교 의과대학 명지병원 가정의학교실) ;
  • 신영태 (관동대학교 의과대학 명지병원 가정의학교실) ;
  • 황희진 (관동대학교 의과대학 명지병원 가정의학교실) ;
  • 박노혁 (관동대학교 의과대학 명지병원 영상의학교실) ;
  • 염창환 (가톨릭대학교 의과대학 강남성모병원 완화의학교실)
  • Published : 2009.03.01


Purpose: Lymphedemas are tissue fluid swellings, usually on the arms or legs, and occur as a result of impaired lymphatic drainage. Presently, the most effective treatment available is complete decongestive physiotherapy (CDP). However, this therapy is ineffective in some patients and surgery may be indicated. Herein, we examined the efficacy of minimally invasive needle aspiration of the most enlarged areas in hypodermic adipose tissues, of patients who had failed CDP. Methods: We included 21 patients who were diagnosed with lymphedema stage II-III in the upper or lower extremities and visited the lymphedema clinic at a university hospital from September 1, 2003 to February 28, 2004. All patients had been treated with CDP at least once, but had failed to respond to the therapy for more than one year. Nine patients had breast cancer and 12 had cervical cancer. We identified the area with the most severe edema by using MRI and performed a 16-gauge angio-needle aspiration on the area. The patients were followed up for 3 months. Effectiveness of the treatment was evaluated by comparing the volume of edema before and after the treatment using Wilcoxon signed rank-test. Results: The mean reduction ratio of the volume of edema comparison normal volume was 41.1${\pm}$35.3% (P=0.001). There were no major or minor operative complications except localized hemorrhage. Conclusion: We conclude that a needle aspiration prior to other surgical treatments is relatively safe and effective for those patients who are unresponsive to CDP.


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