Microvascular breast reconstruction and lymph node transfer for postmastectomy lymphedema patients

Maurice Y. Nahabedian


Lymphedema is the result of an imbalance between capillary filtration and lymphatic drainage. Normal lymphatic function ensures the return of plasma proteins and excess water from the interstitial compartment back into the intravascular circulation. This process is governed by transmural capillary hydrostatic and colloid osmotic pressures and is propelled by smooth and skeletal muscle contraction.