3 The procedure

3 The procedure

3.1 Liposuction for chronic lymphoedema is usually done under general anaesthesia, but regional nerve blockade is also possible. A few small incisions are made in the limb. Cannulas, connected to a vacuum pump, are inserted into the incisions and oedematous adipose tissue is removed by vacuum aspiration. Liposuction is done around and all the way along the limb. Immediately after liposuction, a compression bandage is applied to the limb to control any bleeding and to prevent postoperative oedema. Antibiotics are typically prescribed after the operation. The limb is elevated during hospital stay for 3 to 7 days after the procedure. From about 2 weeks after the procedure, a custom-made compression garment is worn. This garment is revised 3 or 4 times during the first year until the oedema volume has been reduced as much as possible and a steady state has been reached.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)