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World’s first reconstructive surgery on the central lymphatic system using a microsurgery robot

Because it was not possible to remove a hard-to-reach bulge in the central lymphatic system, a team of doctors from the Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery at the University Hospital Zurich (USZ) created a new drain to relieve the patient's agonizing lymph congestion. For the first time, a microsurgical operating system was used for such a procedure.

By the time the patient came to the Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery of the USZ, she already had a long history of suffering and treatment behind her. The 47-year-old woman had been suffering from excruciating pain in her left abdomen for a long time, which intensified after physical activity.

Her pain was accompanied by severe circulatory problems, making it difficult for her to walk 100 meters at a time. As the symptoms increased, a dynamic MR lymphangiography was performed, which allowed the lymph channels and lymph nodes to be visualized.

The lymphangiography showed a cystic dilatation of the left pelvic lymphatic vessels about the size of a pear, in which lymph fluid was repeatedly accumulating. This led to massive pain and probably caused circulatory problems by influencing the autonomic nervous system as well as the spine.

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