Liposuction and Controlled Compression Therapy Reduce the Erysipelas Incidence in Primary and Secondary Lymphedema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Skin infections are a recurring problem for people with lymphedema, and lymphedema has been proven to be the single most important risk factor for developing erysipelas in the leg. This study aimed to determine whether liposuction for late-stage lymphedema reduces the rate of erysipelas in lower extremity lymphedema. Methods: One-hundred twenty-four patients with a median age of 49 years who had liposuction and controlled compression therapy for lower extremity lymphedema were included. Excess volumes were calculated before and after surgery. Median preoperative and postoperative patient years at risk were 11 and 5 years, respectively. Results: With a total of 1680 preoperative person years at risk and 335 bouts of erysipelas experienced in 64 patients, the preoperative incidence rate was 0.20 bouts per person per year, and the period prevalence was 52%. Postoperatively, the patients were followed over a total of 763 person years at risk, and 28 patients experienced a total of 53 bouts of erysipelas, resulting in a postoperative incidence rate of 0.07 bouts per person per year, and a period prevalence of 23%. This represents a 65% decrease in the erysipelas incidence rate (P < 0.001). The preoperative median excess volume of 3158 ml was reduced with a median of 100% (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Liposuction and controlled compression therapy significantly reduce the risk for erysipelas in lower extremity lymphedema and completely reduces the excess volume. This finding is similar to our previous research including patients with upper extremity lymphedema.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE4314
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Liposuction and Controlled Compression Therapy Reduce the Erysipelas Incidence in Primary and Secondary Lymphedema'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this