Lymphedema care at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic specialists offer personalized treatment for people with lymphedema. Your care team works together to deliver exactly the care you need.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

At Mayo Clinic, doctors trained in a variety of specialties — including Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and vascular medicine and surgery (Vascular Centers) — work together to provide care to those with lymphedema.

Advanced testing

Mayo Clinic uses the latest technology to guide treatment decisions. In lymphoscintigraphy, a person is injected with a radioactive dye and then scanned by a machine. The resulting images show the dye moving through the lymph vessels, highlighting blockages. A special type of MRI also can display the structure and function of the lymph vessels.

Newest surgical techniques

Mayo Clinic offers a variety of surgical options for lymphedema, including:

  • Lymph node transplant. Lymph nodes are taken from a different area of the body and then attached to the network of lymph vessels in the affected limb. Most people with early-stage lymphedema see good results from this surgery, and many can stop using compression garments.
  • New drainage paths. Another option for early-stage lymphedema, this procedure creates new connections between the lymph network and blood vessels. The excess lymph fluid is then removed from the limb via blood vessels.
  • Removal of fibrous tissue. In severe lymphedema, the soft tissues in the limb become fibrous and hardened. Removing some of this hardened tissue, often through liposuction, can improve the limb's function. In very severe cases, hardened tissue and skin may be removed with a scalpel.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience diagnosing and treating lymphedema. Each year, more than 3,000 people with lymphedema receive care at Mayo Clinic. This experience means your care team is prepared with the knowledge and resources to provide you with exactly the care you need.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

Sept. 18, 2021