3/2022 4/2022

Preservation of supraclavicular nerve while harvesting supraclavicular lymph node flap

M. E. C. Yildirim1,2, S-H. Chen3, S. A. Mousavi4, H. C. Chen4

1 Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery Clinic, Private Clinic Istanbul, Turkey
2 Istinye University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Plastic Surgery, Istanbul, Turkey 3 Department of Plastic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
4 Department of Plastic Surgery, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan


Lymph node transfer has recently become one of the popular techniques for surgical treatment of lymphedema. We aimed to evaluate postoperative donor site numbness and other complications in patients who underwent supraclavicular lymph node flap transfer to treat lymphedema with preservation of the supraclavicular nerve. From 2004 to 2020, 44 cases of supraclavicular lymph node flap were reviewed retrospectively. In the donor area, sensorial evaluation was clinically done with the postoperative controls. Among them 26 had no numbness at all, 13 had short­term numbness, two had numbness for > 1 year and three had numbness for > 2 years. We suggest that careful preservation of the supraclavicular nerve branches can avoid the major complication of numbness around the clavicle.

Key words

lymphedema – lymph node transfer – supraclavicular lymph node flap

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