Unique Uses of SPY: An Approach to Groin Lymphatic Complications

Karen B. Lu, Cameron Erickson, Kyle Sanniec, Bardia Amirlak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Summary: Femoral artery reconstructive operations pose the risk of damage to the lymphatic system and leakage of lymph fluid into the groin. This leakage establishes a stagnant reservoir of protein-rich fluid, further placing the patient at risk for complications, especially a higher infection rate. The use of SPY technology (Stryker Corp/Novadaq Technologies, Kalamazoo, Mich) for lymphatic leaks have been described in previous studies. However, the management of persistent highoutput lymphatic leaks addressed secondarily with SPY lymphangiography have yet to be reported. This case report describes a young male who underwent thrombectomy in the left common femoral artery, who presented several days later with a high-output chylous leak. The lymphatic leak was initially managed and failed conventional muscle flaps, and SPY lymphangiography was performed to manage the lymphatic leak during the secondary surgery. The lymphatic vessels were ligated and confirmed with SPY lymphangiography. The management of lymphatic groin complications aided by the use of SPY lymphangiography provided valuable data and allowed for better intraoperative visualization. Utilization of SPY technology allowed the surgeons to properly address all sites of leakage in an otherwise persistent lymphatic leak. Resolution of lymphatic leak was further confirmed with SPY. Lymphatic complications, particularly those in the groin area, are of significant concern to physicians. Any suspected chylous leak should be followed with SPY lymphangiography to ensure proper treatment and resolution. Prophylactic use of SPY technology in high-risk patients during lymphatic surgery of the groin may also be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2164
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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