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Clinical Trial Summary

The primary objective of this research proposal is to investigate - in patients with lymphoedema of the upper limb or lower limb (P) - the added value of reconstructive lymphatic surgery (I) - to the decongestive lymphatic therapy (usual care) (C) - on the lymphoedema-specific quality of life (QoL) (O) - at 18 months post-surgery/ no surgery (T) Consequently, a multicentre pragmatic randomised controlled trial is performed to give an answer on following research question: 'Is, in addition to usual care - i.e. decongestive lymphatic therapy -, reconstructive lymphatic surgery (intervention group) superior to no surgery (control group), for the treatment of upper or lower limb lymphoedema?'

Clinical Trial Description

Lymphoedema is a chronic and often debilitating condition caused by lymphatic insufficiency. It leads to swelling of the limb and an increased risk of infection. It can be classified as primary (congenital) or secondary (acquired) lymphoedema. Lymphoedema is very burdensome for the patient and therefore is it often associated with mental problems for example frustration and stress. In addition, because of the increase in volume of the limb, patients also develop physical problems, such as pain, heaviness, loss of strength, and develop functional problems, such as problems with household, mobility or social activities. These mental, physical and functional problems all have a negative impact on quality of life and have an influence on the ability to work. Consensus exist that the first choice of treatment is a conservative treatment. This conservative treatment consists of skin care, compression therapy (i.e. multilayer bandaging and compression garments), exercises and lymph drainage. Reconstructive lymphatic surgery is another option, also often performed: i.e. lymphovenous anastomoses, on the one hand, and a lymph node transfer, on the other hand. By (partially) restoring the lymphatic transport, the reconstructive lymphatic surgery may possibly lead to a larger decrease of the lymphoedema volume and therefore greater discontinuation of the compression garment. Consequently, patients will have an improvement in functioning and quality of life. Currently, scientific evidence for reconstructive lymphatic surgery for the treatment of lymphoedema is missing. Therefore, the aim of this trial is to investigate the added value of reconstructive lymphatic surgery of the lymphatic system in addition to the conservative treatment, for the treatment of lymphoedema. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT05064176
Study type Interventional
Source Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven
Contact Nele Devoogdt
Phone 0032 16 34 25 15
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date September 2021
Completion date December 2026

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