Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center

Treating Lymphedema

An outside shot of the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Lymphedema Treatments

Are you or a loved one experiencing lymphedema? Lymphedema is swelling, most often in the arms or legs, that occurs when the lymphatic system does not drain properly. It is not uncommon for patients to experience lymphedema as a result of disease or from cancer treatment.

Whether finding the right compression garment at our LIFE Wellness Center or most effective surgical procedure, Baptist MD Anderson is here to help. Your care team will work with you create the best treatment plan for your lymphedema.

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About Lymphedema

Common Treatments for Lymphedema

Whether you are in need of compression garments, medication or surgery, we can help. Talk to your care team about the right option for treating your lymphedema.

  • Skin care
  • Massage
  • Exercise
  • Bandaging
  • Compression garments
  • Medicine
  • Surgery
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Lymphedema Surgery

What are the Surgical Options for Lymphedema?

Our surgeons perform the following procedures to treat lymphedema:

Lymphaticovenular Bypass

This procedure redirects the lymph fluid to small veins. The doctor makes multiple small cuts (incisions) about 1-inch-long in the affected arm or leg.

The hospital stay is less than 24 hours.

Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer

This procedure promotes new lymphatic vessels to grow. Using microsurgery, the doctor removes lymph nodes from your neck or groin area and then reattaches them in the affected arm or leg.

The hospital stay is usually about four days.


Center of Excellence

  • LE&RN Centers of Excellence - LD Surgery badge


    Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center is designated a LE&RN Lymphatic Disease Surgery Network of Excellence. This designation requires our institution to provide Certified Lymphedema Therapists (CLTs) onsite, and demonstrating proficiency in the following areas: diagnosis, imaging, conservative management, surgery, research, accountability, collegiality, administration and community involvement.


Surgery for Lymphedema

Frequently Asked Questions

Resources For Your Journey

Survivorship & Support Services

Support Groups

Talk with other patients in a safe environment.

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