LVA Surgery with Dr. Wei Chen: I have had two LVA... - LSN

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LVA Surgery with Dr. Wei Chen

Cervivor1974 profile image

I have had two LVA (Lymphedema) surgeries with Dr. Wei Chen at the University of Iowa the past year (one 12/21 and one 6/13). He has helped me immensely. The work he has done on me and his findings with others similar to me will be included in a medical journal soon. I am early stages and even diagnostic tests said I didn’t have Lymphedema but surgery showed I have it in both legs. He is an amazing dr and I love his staff. Very kind and passionate about helping sufferers of Lymphedema.

Just wanted to let people know he is able to help many. It’s tricky with insurance and isn't cheap without insurance but please let me know if you questions. Very minimal pain and it has changed my life. He is doing cutting edge work in the field of Lymphedema surgeries. I am a 14 year survivor of Adeno Cervical Cancer (44 lymph nodes removed), radical hysterectomy, and radiation. I use compression stockings, do physical therapy, as well as a Flexitouch (nightly pump) machine. There is hope. <3

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17 Replies

Congratulations Cervivor1974! Have you put this post on any US based fora? I'm sure many people your side of the pond would be interested in your results.

Good to hear your positive results! While LVA is not a viable surgery for many lymphies (particularly Primary cases), many like you have good results. Sadly for some LVA has no notable effect on their symptoms (I have 2 lymphie friends with Secondary arm lymphies who are heart broken as they haven’t benefitted from LVA). When it works it’s life changing like it has been for you :-) Dr Chen is one of several surgeons who started doing LVA in the US after training with surgeons abroad where it originated (LVA was developed by.a Japanese surgeon). Hope you continue feeling the positive results for the long term!

sharon1234 profile image
sharon1234 in reply to CCT67

I have the same cervical cancer and I have now swollen legs with lymph with lymphedema... what is LVA? X

Should say had.... it was 17 years ago now

Not sure this will open (not from Dr. Chen’s Hospital)

lymphedemasurgeon.com/lymph...

Here are some explanations. Dr. Chen is known for doing more with less and having a very perfected version of the surgery. He is a wonderful surgeon and a caring doctor. Sharon, it would be great if you could find a doctor that does these procedures and get a consult to see if you would be eligible for the surgery and if your insurance would be willing to pay for it. I’m sorry you are suffering. Cervical cancer does this to so many of us.

Here is another article about Dr. Chen:

uihc.org/patient-stories/in...

And other:

medcom.uiowa.edu/health/cur...

CCT67 profile image
CCT67 in reply to Cervivor1974

Hi Sharon, As you are in the UK check out Oxford Lymphoedema Practice. Professor Furniss and Mr Ramsden perform all the current lymphatic surgeries (LVA, SAPL, LNT) and their website explains these ops. Call the practice for further info, they’re happy to answer queries. I’ve met the surgical team during my screening for LVA 4 years ago, they’re top notch. Sadly, the ops are not available on the NHS except in clinical trials x

Here’s the link to Oxford Lymphedema practice

olp.surgery

CCT67 profile image
CCT67 in reply to sharon1234

Hi Sharon, As you are in the UK check out Oxford Lymphoedema Practice. Professor Furniss and Mr Ramsden perform all the current lymphatic surgeries (LVA, SAPL, LNT) and their website explains these ops. Call the practice for further info, they’re happy to answer queries. I’ve met the surgical team during my screening for LVA 4 years ago, they’re top notch. Sadly, the ops are not available on the NHS except in clinical trials x

Here’s the link to Oxford Lymphedema practice

olp.surgery/

xvdxv profile image
xvdxv in reply to CCT67

campisi is better than oxford but of course expensive more as well

CCT67 profile image
CCT67 in reply to xvdxv

There is no way you could possibly know that one is better than the other unless you had the exact same procedures undertaken by each surgeon/surgical setting and rehab programme. There are some lymphies who have reported their dissatisfaction with Campisi, they felt he was particularly extortionate for the service they received in Italy and had poor surgical results. Good to know you were pleased with him. He was a trail blazer at one time

xvdxv profile image
xvdxv in reply to CCT67

italian approach is different like in USA or UK because that is affected by nationalities and culture however yes the service is not optimal based on prices

the work is different than others

everything is on your body some good some no

So happy to hear that things have been so successful for you! I have a consult with Dr Chen in November. I am wondering if you had any abdominal swelling and if it helped with that also?

Also wondering if you happen to have a hotel or transportation recommendations. I am flying in from Alaska for the consult.

Dear cervical cancer survivor, me too, a cervical cancer survivor... 12 years ago, chemo radiation, 47 lymph nodes removed, lymphedema in right leg only. Is there any chance in heaven that LVA can be affordable, or covered by medical insurance? Does your surgeon accept cash?

I apologize for not being on here the last few months. My insurance paid for the entire procedure two times ($50k x 2), but I know that is not typical. Mine was approved based on the fact that it was all due to cancer. I am sure Dr. Chen accepts cash like any other hospital and I’m not sure if there is a difference in charge if you don’t have insurance? Yesterday was his last day here in Iowa and he is moving to Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. I believe I am the earliest stage lymphedema patient that he is ever performed LVA on, at least that is what he told me last week. I have had it done on both of my legs and I don’t regret it one bit. I did have some swelling prior to LVA around my left abdominal area and quite a bit internally on my left side in my female lady parts. I have a very strong linear pattern for the spy test on my left leg as it has been a year since surgery. The recovery time and improvements show anytime from 1 to 3 years after the surgery. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help everyone. Happy new year!

What insurance plan did you use at the time?

So happy you had positive results - that’s amazing!!

Also you said you had two surgeries. I’m just asking because my partner had one surgery, is noticing worse swelling in some areas & is considering if a second would make things better or worse. The majority of the swelling in his hip/groin area got better, whereas his penile swelling got worse. He believes one of the veins operated on broke after surgery.

Did you have a similar experience of worse swelling post op on the first LVA? And did you have better results on your second LVA?

I apologize about the personal questions, but if the results were better after the 2nd & you had worse swelling after the 1st, you experience might give my partner hope as he is considering a 2nd operation.

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