Disruption of the axillary nodes and closure of arm lymphatics can explain the significantly high risk of early and late lymphatic complications after axillary dissection, especially the most serious complication that is arm lymphedema which occurs in about 25% (ranging from 13 to 52%) of patients. Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy has reduced the severity of swelling to nearly 6% (from 2 to 7%) and, in case of positive SLN, complete axillary dissection (AD) is still required. That is why ARM method was developed aiming at identifying and preserve lymphatics draining the arm. It consists in injecting intradermally and subcutaneously a small quantity (1-2 ml) of blue dye at the medial surface of the arm which helps in locating the draining arm lymphatic pathways. ARM technique allowed to find variable clinical anatomical conditions from what was already generally known, that is the most common location of arm lymphatics below and around the axillary vein. In about one-third of the cases, blue lymphatics can be found till 3-4 cm below the vein, site where SLN can easily be located, justifying the occurrence of lymphedema after only SLN biopsy. ARM procedure showed that blue nodes were almost always placed at the lateral part of the axilla, under the vein and above the second intercostals brachial nerve. Leaving in place lymph nodes related to arm lymphatic drainage would decrease the risk of arm lymphedema, but not retrieving all nodes, the main risk is to leave metastatic disease in the axilla. Conversely, arm lymphatic pathways when they enter the axilla, cannot be site of breast tumoral disease and their preservation would certainly bring about a significant decrease of lymphedema occurrence rate.

Topics in Cancer Survivorship: Surgical prevention of arm lymphedema in breast cancer treatment

CAMPISI, CORRADINO;BOCCARDO, FRANCESCO
2012

Abstract

Disruption of the axillary nodes and closure of arm lymphatics can explain the significantly high risk of early and late lymphatic complications after axillary dissection, especially the most serious complication that is arm lymphedema which occurs in about 25% (ranging from 13 to 52%) of patients. Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy has reduced the severity of swelling to nearly 6% (from 2 to 7%) and, in case of positive SLN, complete axillary dissection (AD) is still required. That is why ARM method was developed aiming at identifying and preserve lymphatics draining the arm. It consists in injecting intradermally and subcutaneously a small quantity (1-2 ml) of blue dye at the medial surface of the arm which helps in locating the draining arm lymphatic pathways. ARM technique allowed to find variable clinical anatomical conditions from what was already generally known, that is the most common location of arm lymphatics below and around the axillary vein. In about one-third of the cases, blue lymphatics can be found till 3-4 cm below the vein, site where SLN can easily be located, justifying the occurrence of lymphedema after only SLN biopsy. ARM procedure showed that blue nodes were almost always placed at the lateral part of the axilla, under the vein and above the second intercostals brachial nerve. Leaving in place lymph nodes related to arm lymphatic drainage would decrease the risk of arm lymphedema, but not retrieving all nodes, the main risk is to leave metastatic disease in the axilla. Conversely, arm lymphatic pathways when they enter the axilla, cannot be site of breast tumoral disease and their preservation would certainly bring about a significant decrease of lymphedema occurrence rate.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/423514
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