Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 537--539

Sympathectomy for lymphedema: A case series

Painex Pain Management Clinic, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Nivedita Page
Painex Pain Management Clinic, 1233/A, B/1, Sai Chhaya Apartments, Apte Road, Pune - 411 005, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_36_20

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Breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) is an increasingly common complication seen in the palliative care setting due to increased life expectancy of breast cancer survivors. It is an important determinant of the quality of life of breast cancer survivors, due to the functional impact that it has, apart from the pain and deformity associated with it. Conservative management of lymphedema with the help of physiotherapy, positioning, manual lymphatic drainage, and intermittent pneumatic compression is well known. Even then, there remains a subset of patients that fail to respond to conservative management. T2 sympathectomy is a technique which ablates the thoracic sympathetic chain and helps in improving the lymphatic drainage. We report a series of four cases of BCRL, which showed a significant reduction in the mid-arm circumference as well as pain scores after a T2 sympathectomy. We believe that T2 sympathectomy can be used as the second line of management in lymphedema patients in whom conservative treatment has failed.


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Online since 1st October '05
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow