Microsurgical transfer of the greater omentum in the treatment of canine obstructive lymphoedema

Bernard Mc C. O'Brien, Michael J. Hickey, John V. Hurley, Ephraim Dvir, Rakesh K. Khazanchi, W. Chris Pederson, Julian J. Pribaz

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Abstract

In 13 dogs, experimental obstructive lymphoedema of the lower limb was created by combined radiotherapy and radical groin dissection. Six months later, when the degree of lymphoedema was stable, the lymphatic obstruction was bridged by microvascular insertion of a free omental graft. Six months after grafting, circumferential measurements indicated a statistically significant 38% reduction in the magnitude of lymphoedema. Biopsies showed the omental grafts were alive but contained much fibrous tissue. Lymphatic vessels were identified in 10 of 11 biopsies but connections between these lymphatics and lymphatics proximal to the graft could not be demonstrated by either lymphangiography or dye-injection techniques. The findings indicate that experimental obstructive lymphoedema in the dog can be reduced significantly by insertion of a vascularised omental graft. However, it could not be established that improvement was due to union of graft lymphatics with those of the lymphoedematous limb, although this union may have consisted of lymphatics too small to be demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-446
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Plastic Surgery
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes

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