A new study has shown liposuction can be used to treat submental lymphedema in patients who have suffered from head or neck cancer.
The condition often occurs among individuals who have received treatment for these forms of cancer and affects the area under the chin. Fluid builds up and the soft tissues in the neck start to swell, leading to the area not functioning properly and becoming disfigured.
Dr S. Mark Taylor and Dr Maria Brake, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, conducted a study on ten patients suffering fromsubmental lymphedema and treated the condition by making a small incision in their necks before using liposuction to remove fat and fluid.
“The procedure is well tolerated under local anaesthesia and in our hands has proven to be very effective, resulting in high patient satisfaction,” the authors stated.
None of those who took part in the study experienced complications and their condition did not reoccur following the procedure.
All patients claimed they would recommend the treatment to others with submental lymphedema as they were pleased with the results.
The report was published in the journal Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and the authors now plan to offer liposuction to their other head and neck cancer patients.