Liposuction for the management of submental lymphedema in the head and neck cancer patient

June 12, 2012

Liposuction is a novel and minimally invasive procedure for treating persistent submental lymphedema in patients with previous head and neck cancer, according to an article published in the June 2012 issue of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

"Submental lymphedema is a common problem encountered by patients following treatment of head and ," the authors state.

It causes fluid deposition and persistent swelling of the soft tissues of the neck, leading to disfigurement and functional deficits. The aim of the study is to introduce the otolaryngologist–head and neck surgeon to the authors' new surgical technique: the use of liposuction to treat patients with submental lymphedema.

The surgical technique involves making an incision into the neck and using to remove fat and fluid from the treatment area. In the authors' small study on 10 patients, the surgery was well-tolerated by patients suffering submental lymphedema. The cohort had at least one year of cancer-free follow-up prior to the procedure. No patients in the cohort developed a recurrence in the neck, and there have been no complications. All 10 patients were satisfied with the results of their procedure and would recommend it to other patients, the authors' state.

The authors conclude, "The procedure is well tolerated under local anesthesia and in our hands has proven to be very effective, resulting in high patient satisfaction. We plan to continue to offer this to our patients with submental and encourage others to consider it as part of their treatment strategy."

Explore further: Certain head and neck cancer patients benefit from second round of treatment

More information: “Liposuction for the Management of Submental Lymphedema in the Head and Neck Cancer Patient” Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Related Stories

Recommended for you

International study proves old blood is as good as new

October 24, 2016

It's been long thought that when blood transfusions are needed, it may be best to use the freshest blood, but McMaster University researchers have led a large international study proving that it is not so.

Study finds mixed results for use of mesh for hernia repair

October 18, 2016

Among patients undergoing incisional hernia repair, the use of mesh to reinforce the repair was associated with a lower risk of hernia recurrence over 5 years compared with when mesh was not used, although with long-term ...

Traditional surgery style worthwhile, says piles trial

October 10, 2016

Results of a five year trial on haemorrhoids (commonly known as piles), jointly sponsored by NHS Highland and the University of Aberdeen, have this week been published in The Lancet, one of the world's oldest and best known ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.