Lymphedema refers to the swelling of a body part caused by the accumulation of lymphatic ﬂuid. In the United States, most cases are secondary to cancer treatment. It represents a dreadful condition that negatively impacts the quality of life of cancer survivors. Lymphedema commonly affects upper or lower extremity but can also occur on the neck, face, genitals, and trunk. It can seriously change patients’ life and social interactions due to the enlarged appearance, occasional pain, and dexterity reduction. Although cancer-related lymphedema takes a considerable proportion of all cases, an appropriate and comprehensive treatment requires collaboration among oncologists, plastic surgeons, general surgeons, radiologists, and nurses. Especially noted, there is no cure for lymphedema to date.
In this series, we are fortunate to invite Dr. Persing, the 28 years Chief of Division of Plastic Surgery at Yale School of Medicine, summarizing the surgical management of lymphedema. After that, this series includes four subtopics. Drs. Ciudad and Manrique share their surgery experience in lymph node transferring for the lymphedema treatment. Drs. Jiang and Long enlighten us on the treatment of genital lymphedema, and the application of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells in secondary lymphedema. Besides, we have studies on the evaluation of surgical outcomes from Drs. Jiang and Ciudad, which give us an integrated blueprint for future treatment approach of lymphedema. In the end, we have Drs. Liu and Alperovich review the application of imaging in lymphedema assessment and diagnosis.
In conclusion, this series successfully achieved our goal to advance knowledge regarding the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of lymphedema.
Drs. Lu and Forte express the sincerest gratitude to their common mentor, Dr. John A Persing, for his encouragement, guidance, support, tolerance, care, and mentorship, in all the past years, not only as it relates to the publication of this special issue, but in life and career development.
Conflicts of Interest: Both authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form (available at http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/gs.2020.03.42). The series “Lymphedema” was commissioned by the editorial office without any funding or sponsorship. XL served as the unpaid Guest Editor of the series and serves as the unpaid editorial board member of Gland Surgery from Aug 2019 to Jul 2021. AJF served as the unpaid Guest Editor of the series.
Ethical Statement: The authors are accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
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