Revolutionary Treatment for Breast Cancer-related Lymphoedema Introduced in KIMS

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In a significant medical advancement, the KIMS Superspeciality and Cancer Centre has become the first facility in Odisha to offer a pioneering treatment for arm and forearm swelling, commonly experienced by patients after breast cancer surgery. This condition, known as lymphoedema, has traditionally been a challenging consequence to manage.

 

The innovative procedure, Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT), was recently successfully performed by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons. The procedure is performed in a few centres in India. This team was led by Dr. Sunil Kumar Rout from Plastic Surgery, along with Dr. Sabyasachi Parida, Senior Surgical Oncologist specializing in Advanced Oncoplastic Breast Surgery, and Dr. Samir Kumar Patel, also from Plastic Surgery. The patient has recovered completely and has left for her home.

 

Lymphoedema occurs when lymph nodes are removed or damaged during cancer surgeries, impairing the normal flow of lymph fluid which can lead to swelling and discomfort. Dr. Parida, who has been keen on minimizing the risk of lymphoedema through careful surgical techniques, found the VLNT to be necessary for a patient suffering from progressive and debilitating arm swelling.

 

The procedure involves transferring lymph nodes from a donor site in the patient’s body, in this case, the neck, to the affected area. The doctors chose the right supraclavicular lymph nodes based on their quality and number, using an ultrasound-guided assessment. These nodes were then transplanted into the distal forearm of the patient, with connections made to local blood vessels to ensure the lymph fluid could be effectively drained.

 

Senior specialists from the Anesthesia department, Dr. T. Rajmohan Rao and Dr. Purabi Acharya were responsible for administering anesthesia to the patient during the operation. Mr. Hemanta Ku Sahoo (Senior OT Technician), Mrs. Sumitra & Mrs. Kalpana Ojha (Senior OT Sisters), Sasmita (Nursing Officer), Mikina Pradhan (Senior OT Support Staff) were part of the core team that made the surgery successful.

 

VLNT is comparable to organ transplantation in its complexity and precision. The meticulous surgery required the team to employ a high-resolution operating microscope to connect the transplanted lymph nodes with the forearm’s radial artery and cephalic vein.

 

This successful operation not only elevates our capabilities at KIMS but also promises a new lease on life for many patients suffering from post-cancer lymphoedema

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