Vascular reconstruction unavoidably results in lymphatic injury due to the intricate association of lymphatics with arteries and veins. There are also significant lymph node groups found near the major vessels. The lymphatic system, however, has a remarkable ability to regenerate and most injuries to the lymphatics heal spontaneously without lasting effects. In some cases, however, lymph swelling, lymph fistulas and lymphocoele can occur. Although lymphatic complications are relatively uncommon, long-term lymphatic leaks incur the risk of infection which can be dangerous especially in patients with vascular prosthesis in the groin. Further, there are no standard procedures for detecting and treating lymph fistulas. Existing treatments are conservative approaches and surgical intervention. Recommendations for initial conservative approach have significant disadvantages: extended hospital stay and increased risk of wound and graft infection. Some authors therefore recommend early surgical intervention.
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