Anatomy of the lymphatic system and the lymphosome concept with reference to lymphedema

Hiroo Suami*, Mario F. Scaglioni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Precise knowledge of the lymphatic system normal anatomy is essential for understanding what structural changes occur in patients with lymphedema. In this article, the authors first review previous anatomical studies and summarize the general anatomy of the lymphatic system and lymphatic pathways in the upper and lower extremities. Second, they introduce their new anatomical concept, the lymphosome, which describes how the lymphatic vessels in a particular region connect to the same subgroup of regional lymph nodes. In addition, they describe the anatomical relationship between the perforating lymphatic vessels and arteries. In the last section, they explain the anatomical changes in the lymphatics after lymph node dissection, with reference to secondary lymphedema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • lymph capillary
  • lymph collecting vessel
  • lymphosome
  • precollector
  • sentinel node


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