Case Report

Limited Segmental Resection of Symptomatic Lower-extremity Lymphodystrophic Tissue in High-risk Patients

Authors: Tanya M. Oswald, MD, William Lineaweaver, MD


In obese patients, lymphodystrophic tissue can create large masses that are microscopically indistinguishable from chronic lymphedema. This tissue can be disabling, especially in the lower extremities. The tissue is refractory to conservative therapy and is prone to cellulitis and abscess formation. The patients are regarded as being at high risk for surgical complications due to obesity and related illnesses. We report two cases of patients with lesions severely limiting walking. The two patients weighed 490 and 520 lb, respectively. One patient had hypertension and asthma; the other had arrhythmias and chronic venous thrombosis. One patient had wedge resection of the right groin (23 lb) and knee (5 lb), and the second patient had resection of the right thigh (65 lb) and left thigh (84 lb). All procedures were done separately. Both patients reported improvement in walking. Simple wedge excision was an effective, minimally complicated treatment for these patients.

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