Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer

Lymphedema is the condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system. The lymphatic system returns fluid via the thoracic duct into the bloodstream, where it is recirculated back to the tissues.

After axillary lymph node surgery, including sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary lymph node dissection, lymph nodes are removed from the axilla. Combination of this surgery with postoperative radiation therapy puts patients at risk of developing lymphedema.

During breast reconstruction procedures, lymph nodes can be transferred to the axilla to replace the removed lymph nodes. These new lymph nodes can help reestablish the missing link and redirect flow of lymphatics back into the bloodstream. This procedure is termed “vascularized lymph node transfer” (VLNT) , and requires delicate microsurgical technique to improve the outcome and ensure success.

Consultation Request

To receive a consultation, request your appointment online and schedule your visit during one of the select times our surgeons have set aside exclusively for Web visitors.



Many of our patients fly in from all over the world. We have perfected the “fly-in patient” protocol, making it virtually possible for all prospective patients. Fly in alone or with loved ones, and we will walk you through a process that will ensure complete care and a comfortable, pleasant experience.