Liposuction for Lymphedema in Washington, DC

Lymphedema is a type of chronic swelling of the arms and legs. Triple board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, John R. Barbour, MD, FACS, offers liposuction for lymphedema to alleviate symptoms for the residents of the Washington, DC, area, including Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria and surrounding communities in Virginia. Dr. Barbour is a fellowship trained hand and peripheral nerve specialist who is uniquely qualified to achieve exceptional results with liposuction for lymphedema.

Suction-Assisted Protein Lipectomy (SAPL)

The body has a tendency to deposit fat in areas of the arm that are affected by lymphedema. Suction-Assisted Protein Lipectomy (SAPL) has been successful in treating excess fat and protein-rich solids found in advanced stages of lymphedema.

It must be emphasized that the SAPL technique is NOT the standard cosmetic liposuction technique. The procedure must be performed using specific parameters, methods, and protocols. Patients are candidates if the swelling in the limb is due to deposition of fat, protein, and fibrotic tissue with non-pitting edema. Studies throughout the medical literature indicate a long-term and reproducible reduction in the size of the affected arm or leg and a tremendous decrease in the rate of cellulitis or infections in the affected limb. This procedure does not appear to damage lymphatics. Published studies have specifically looked at the lymphatic system before and after SAPL, and no decrease in function has been found.

SAPL doesn’t cure lymphedema, but it can get the arm down to a size the patient would be able to maintain. Volume reduction is maintained with the use of compression garments after surgery.