Surgical treatment of Milroy disease

A. Bolletta, G. Di Taranto, S. H. Chen, R. Elia, V. Amorosi, J. C.Y. Chan, H. C. Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Milroy disease is a form of congenital primary lymphedema affecting the lower limbs. When conservative management is ineffective, surgical treatment becomes necessary. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT) associated with extensive therapeutic lipectomy in the treatment of these patients. Methods: In China Medical University Hospital, four patients have been diagnosed with Milroy disease and treated over an 8 year-period time. All patients presented with hereditary bilateral legs swelling since birth. All patients were treated with VLNT from the gastroepiploic region bilaterally associated with extensive therapeutic lipectomy. Results: All procedures have been executed bilaterally and have been successful, without complications. The average follow-up of the patients was 20.2 ± 2.8 months. The limbs treated presented an average circumference reduction of a 4.0 ± 2.1 cm and patients did not experience cellulitis during follow-up. Patients expressed satisfaction with the procedure. Conclusions: VLNT together with therapeutic lipectomy proved to be a reliable technique in moderate cases of Milroy disease, providing an alternative path for lymph drainage, and reducing the lymph load and the excess of subcutaneous adipose tissues, thus improving patients' quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 01 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Milroy disease
  • congenital lymphedema
  • extensive therapeutic lipectomy
  • lymph node transfer
  • lymphedema surgery


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