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Topic: Liposuction / Flying Squirrel surgery

Forum: Lymphedema —

Lymphedema is swelling that can develop in the arm, hand, breast, or torso as a side effect of breast cancer surgery and/or radiation therapy. Lymphedema can appear in some people during the months or even years after treatment ends.

Lymphedema usually develops slowly, and you may feel an unusual sensation — such as tingling or numbness — that comes and goes before any visible swelling occurs. Other symptoms include achiness, feelings of fullness or heaviness, puffiness or swelling, and decreased flexibility in the hand, arm, chest, breast, or underarm areas. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. Early treatment of lymphedema is important.

Learn more about how to lower your risk of lymphedema and how to manage it if you've been diagnosed.

Intro medically reviewed by: Brian Wojciechowski, M.D.
Last review date: November 22, 2020

Posted on: Nov 29, 2020 05:08PM

Linda2119 wrote:

Hi,

I recently saw Dr. Chen for an ICG, hoping I'd be a candidate for LVA or lymph vessel transfer. But my lymphedema has progressed to the solid predominant stage. He is recommending his "flying squirrel" liposuction surgery.

Has anyone had liposuction performed for their lymphedema? I'd love to hear your results.

From what I understand, one advantage of the liposuction is that you see results right away. And Dr. Chen suggests that it returns you to Stage I or early Stage II lymphedema.

Disadvantages - recovery and one arm being smaller than the other.

I'm hoping someone can give me some feedback.

Gratefully,

Linda

Dx 10/5/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 15/24 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 10/18/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole), Faslodex (fulvestrant) Surgery 3/19/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Reconstruction (left) Chemotherapy 4/18/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/8/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/24/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/5/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 12/19/2018 Verzenio
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Nov 30, 2020 06:28AM LivinLife wrote:

I have no idea Linda! Just chiming in with support and well wishes!

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Dec 28, 2020 09:23PM MandaLynn wrote:

Hi Linda,

I’m here at Dr Chen’s and today I just got told the same thing. I’m from out of town so I’m scheduled fir the LVA on Wed but he is now suggesting the liposuction.

What did you end up doing?


amanda

Amanda Dx 10/20/2008, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 28, 2020 10:27PM Linda2119 wrote:

Hi, Amanda,

I am waiting for insurance preauthorization, and my husband’s employer is switching us from Anthem to United Healthcare on January 1st, so we have to start all over next week. I trust Dr. Chen and I’m planning to do the surgery when everything comes together.

Let me know what you decide.

Linda

Dx 10/5/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 15/24 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 10/18/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole), Faslodex (fulvestrant) Surgery 3/19/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Reconstruction (left) Chemotherapy 4/18/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/8/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/24/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/5/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 12/19/2018 Verzenio
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Jan 11, 2021 06:42PM MandaLynn wrote:

I am currently waiting for insurance authorization too. Think if I do get it, I'll wait until I can get the covid vaccine (hopefully early spring). Let me know if you find out anything.

Thanks,

Amanda

Amanda Dx 10/20/2008, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 3, 2021 05:06PM toomuch wrote:

Hi.

I'm just checking in to see if anyone has gone ahead with the flying squirrel procedure? I developed a solid component to my lymphedema in my upper arm after cellulitis x 3 this year. For the previous 10 years my LE was well controlled. Now my upper arm is more than 3 cm larger than my other arm. Dr. Chen also recommended the flying squirrel procedure for me. I'd love to hear from someone who has had the procedure. I haven't seen any posts about other doctor's suggesting it.


Thanks.

Toomuch

"Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before" Dx 7/13/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 5, 2021 11:34AM Linda2119 wrote:

Hi, Toomuch,

I am scheduled for surgery with Dr. Chen on June 9. Insurance was a long process for me - I was hoping to be done with the surgery by now.

I believe Amanda was having the surgery done in March - looking forward to hearing from her.

I talked to another patient of my PT who had liposuction surgery done with Dr. Granzow in California. She has been very pleased with the surgery and is glad she did it.

Hope this helps,

Linda

Dx 10/5/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 15/24 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 10/18/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole), Faslodex (fulvestrant) Surgery 3/19/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Reconstruction (left) Chemotherapy 4/18/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/8/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/24/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/5/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 12/19/2018 Verzenio
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Apr 6, 2021 05:36AM toomuch wrote:

Thanks Linda!
Please come back and post after your surgery. I’ve been feeling so down about my LE recently. I would love to hear about some positive outcomes



"Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before" Dx 7/13/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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