Obesity-Induced Lymphedema Nonreversible Following Massive Weight Loss

Obesity-Induced Lymphedema Nonreversible Following Massive Weight Loss

Greene AK, Grant FD, Maclellan RA; 2015

Synopsis: Obesity-induced lymphedema of the lower extremities can occur once a patients body mass index (BMI) exceeds 50. This is a case report of a patient with obesity-induced lower extremity lymphedema, who was followed before and after weight loss.

Abstract: Lymphedema is the progressive enlargement of tissue due to inadequate lymphatic function. Obesity-induced lymphedema of the lower extremities can occur once a patients body mass index (BMI) exceeds 50. We report our first patient with obesity-induced lower extremity lymphedema who was followed prospectively before and after weight loss. A 46-year-old woman with a BMI of 80 presented to our Lymphedema Program complaining of bilateral lower extremity swelling. Lymphoscintigraphy showed impaired lymphatic drainage of both lower extremities consistent with lymphedema. She was referred to a bariatric surgical weight-loss center and underwent a sleeve gastrectomy. After reaching her new steady-state BMI of 36 eighteen months following her procedure, lymphoscintigraphy showed no improvement in lower extremity lymphatic function. Patients at risk for obesity-induced lymphedema should be counseled that they should seek weight-loss interventions before their BMI reaches 50, a threshold at which point lower extremity lymphedema may occur. Unlike other comorbidities that reverse following massive weight loss, obesity-induced lymphedema may not resolve.

APA Citation: Greene, A., Grant, F., & Maclellan, R. (2015). Obesity-induced Lymphedema Nonreversible following Massive Weight Loss. Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open, 3(6), e426. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/gox.0000000000000398

AMA Citation: Greene A, Grant F, Maclellan R. Obesity-induced Lymphedema Nonreversible following Massive Weight Loss. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open. 2015;3(6):e426. doi:10.1097/gox.0000000000000398.