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June 1963

Lymphedema Praecox

Arch Surg. 1963;86(6):918-926. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310120036007

Lymphedema praecox, or primary lymphedema, is a form of lymphatic malfunction observed almost exclusively in young women and girls. The course is a progressive one, and the diffuse swelling of the leg increases at a constant rate once the process has manifested itself. The swelling of the entire lower extremity may become so extensive as to produce embarrassing disfigurement and severe physical incapacity. The results of our surgical treatment of this entity over a long period of time have been gratifying, and we believe that a review of our results would reemphasize the value of a more aggressive approach in treating this disabling malady.

Seven cases have been treated successfully. Of these, two cases which were followed for 12 and 14 years will be presented to outline the principles and techniques for management of lymphedema praecox. This will be followed by a discussion of the disease. Six of these patients