The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

Florin Vlad Hodea

Florin Vlad Hodea

Therapeutic Management of Breast Cancer Related Upper Limb Lymphedema

Lymphedema represents a chronic condition with impaired lymphatic transport, having primary and secondary etiologies. The most common type of secondary lymphedema in western countries is represented by breast cancer related upper limb lymphedema.
This condition, once installed, determines limb structure changes, progressive functional impairment, specific complications, consequently impacting the quality of patient’s life. An accurate diagnosis is mandatory, using both clinical and imagistic methods with clear definition disease extent as per standardized staging systems, in order to further provide an adequate therapeutic strategy.
The main therapeutic goal in patients with lymphedema is represented by limb volume reduction with subsequent symptoms relief, improving quality of life and avoiding complications such as recurrent infections. Through this paper, we aim to present a comprehensive overview of current therapeutic options of breast cancer upper limb related lymphedema.
Therapeutic approach comprises of non-surgical (conservative) therapy, which is mandatory as initial therapy and surgical procedures for selected cases. Most patients with lymphedema benefit from conservative treatment alone. In non-responsive cases, in patients with progressive disease, in late stage complicated lymphedema, and also recently added as prophylactic strategy, surgical treatment, trough recent developed techniques, offer very good results in long-term control of disease.
Surgical options are classified firstly in physiologic procedures that aim to create new lymphatic channels, promote physiologic drainage of the lymph and should be considered early in the course of the disease, and secondly ablative procedures that reduce through liposuction or various excision techniques the volume of the affected limb.
Both types of techniques can be combined to ensure the best functional outcome of the patient.

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Versatility of Vein Grafts in Hand Neurovascular Reconstruction – Clinical Cases and Literature Review

Injuries to the upper limb may determine unexpected simple or complex soft tissue defects, due to different types of underlying injury mechanism, clean cut/stabs, crushing, torsion, avulsion or mixed types, which pose a challenge for the reconstructive surgeon. Ideally, all arterial, venous and nervous lesions, in the distal upper limb should be repaired in an end-to-end technique, outside of injury zones, with healthy ends, in a tension free manner. However, situations arise where, either a tension-free repair is not possible, or a considerable defect is met, often representing a challenge to the surgeon. Therefore, a timely decision is imposed in order to find the most favorable approach to restore limb or segment perfusion, ensuring efficient venous return, as well as providing a sensate repair. Usage of vein grafts represents an essential tool comprised in the reconstructive surgeon’s armamentarium, with high versatility in nerve, arterial and venous reconstruction. Not only does it provide an ideal solution, with high adaptability to each case, but it also may enhance short- and long-term outcome, offering an optimal reconstructive option in any upper limb trauma situation, regardless of etiology. We aim to describe our therapeutic strategies in a series of challenging trauma cases involving digital structures from the upper limb. Interposed vein grafts were used to re-stablish sensate function in a patient with a collateral digital nerve defect, but also to bridge vital digit arterial defect in a torsion-avulsion thumb amputation, as well as re-establishing venous flow in patients with Urbaniak II finger degloving injury.

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Infectious Complications in Severely Burned Adult Patients-Diagnostic and Therapeutic Algorithm

Severe burn injuries represent a major challenge to the entire healthcare system in developing countries and even for states with a high standard of care. A clear understanding of the physiopathology of burn injuries is essential for providing an adequate prompt treatment to ensure an optimal patient outcome. Early recognition and treatment of burns complications, especially severe infections represent an important prevention strategy, improving survival after these severe injuries. Specific treatment must be conducted according to the characteristics of the patients in order to reduce morbidity and mortality and avoid the development of antimicrobial resistance. A diagnostic and therapeutic algorithm is presented, centered on infectious source prevention and control with early surgical excision and skin grafting together with culture-guided antimicrobial therapy. It is a known fact that, indifferent of the involved germ, the best intervention for both prophylaxis and treatment of infections in the burn patient is the early excision of the devitalized tissue and subsequent closure of burn wounds with skin grafts, measures that diminish local and systemic mediator releasing effects in burnt tissue, attenuating the progressive inflammatory chain.

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