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Incidence and Risk Factors of Lower Extremity Lymphedema After Gynecologic Surgery in Ovarian Cancer
  1. Eun Young Ki, MD,
  2. Jong Sup Park, MD, PhD,
  3. Keun Ho Lee, MD, PhD and
  4. Soo Young Hur, MD, PhD
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Soo Young Hur, MD, PhD, The Catholic University of Korea, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Banpodaero 222, Seocho-Gu, Seoul, Korea, Post code 137–040. E-mail:


Objective There is no standard method to establish an early diagnosis of lower extremity lymphedema (LEL). Lower extremity lymphedema can be diagnosed by physical examination and laboratory tests when patients complain of typical clinical symptoms. The objective of this study was to investigate the incidence and risk factors of LEL in patients with ovarian cancer.

Methods The medical records were reviewed retrospectively in patients with ovarian cancer treated at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital from January 2000 to July 2014.

Results A total of 413 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer were analyzed. Forty-six patients (11.1%) developed LEL, and 67.4% of these patients had LEL within 1 year after surgery. The mean number of resected lymph nodes (LNs) was larger in patients with LEL (43.1 ± 16.7; range, 12–80) than in those without (32.3 ± 19.8; range, 0–99) (P < 0.0001). The number of resected LNs was significantly associated with the occurrence of LEL (odds ratio, 1.025; 95% confidence interval, 1.005–1.045; P < 0.05).

Conclusion A significant proportion of patients with ovarian cancer could develop LEL after surgery. This study suggests that the occurrence of LEL is associated with the number of resected LNs.

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Lymphedema
  • Incidence
  • Risk factor

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.