Lymphedema is caused by damage, or less commonly, absence of the lymphatic system. Often occurring following cancer treatment, lymphedema may result in progressive swelling of a limb, the genitalia or head and neck. This swelling may limit function, cause discomfort, predispose to recurrent skin and soft tissue infection, and impact quite negatively on self-image. Those affected with lymphedema often spend hours per day managing their condition.
At the Cleveland Clinic we aim to provide the highest quality, compassionate, cutting edge care for patients with lymphedema and lymphatic dysfunction. Led by plastic surgeons with specialized expertise in microsurgical and supermicrosurgical reconstructive techniques, our multidisciplinary team is composed of certified lymphedema occupational and physical therapists, vascular medicine specialists, surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, bariatric surgeons and dermatologists.
At Cleveland Clinic we have developed one of the largest experiences in the nation focused on surgical prevention of lymphedema using lymphaticovenous bypass at the time of lymph node removal during cancer surgery.
Our lymphatic disease specialists are active investigators and educators who are engaged in surgical outcomes and quality of life research, development of new diagnostic and treatment approaches, and innovation of novel ways to improve care for those with lymphedema.
- Multidisciplinary consultation.
- Lymphedema therapist consultation.
- Indocyanine green (ICG) lymphography.
- Bioimpedance spectroscopy.
- Additional studies - MRI, U/S, 3D volumetry.
- Additional personalized consultation with multidisciplinary care team members.
- Pediatric lymphedema.
Surgical treatments for lymphedema have evolved and can provide significant improvement in form and function. Therapeutic lymphatic surgery now benefits those with early lymphatic dysfunction as well as those with late stage lymphedema.
- Vascularized lymph node transplant.
- Vascularized lymph vessel transplant.
- Combined VLNT/VLVT with microsurgical breast reconstruction.
Volume Reduction Surgery
- Minimal access tissue excision/ liposuction.
- Excision of skin excess.
Oncology Rehabilitation Services
- Immediate Lymphatic Reconstruction/LYMPHA.
- Reverse Lymphatic Mapping.
The National Lymphedema Network’s mission is to empower our community of lymphedema practitioners and patients by providing educational opportunities, networking opportunities, and interventional resources.
Lymphatic Education & Resource Network
The Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded in 1998 to fight lymphatic diseases and lymphedema through education, research and advocacy.
Please call 216.444.5415 if you would like to make an appointment with a Cleveland Clinic provider or have a patient to refer.For a comprehensive evaluation of your lymphedema condition or a potential diagnosis of lymphedema, please call 216-444-2639. A Cleveland Clinic coordinator will take your information and pass it along to a member of the multi-disciplinary lymphedema team. A personalized diagnostic and consultative plan will be formulated based on your specific condition. A lymphedema team member will then reach out to you to review the plan and help you get scheduled