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LymphaSeal: Helping Children with Postoperative Lymph Leaks Return Home Faster and Healthier

Team Members:
  • Ignacio Albert Smet
  • Caterina Esposito
  • Taylor Holt
  • Alexis Graham
  • Youseph Yazdi
  • Joshua De Souza
  • Danielle Gottlieb-Sen
  • Russel Holscher (Baxter)
  • Sung Kwon (Baxter)


Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the United States. Children undergoing heart surgery can develop lymphatic leaks that cause immune and nutritional deficiency, which can lead to significant morbidity or death. Current first line therapy requires nutritional deprivation in the hospital that can last on average weeks to months. Unfortunately, children with cardiac disease are already at a nutritional disadvantage due to their increased metabolic demands and a decreased ability to digest large amounts of calories. Because of this, first line therapy leads to clinical decline in these children. If the first line therapy fails, the remaining therapeutic options are highly invasive and often poorly tolerated by an already critically ill child. Based on two weeks of conservative therapy alone, the economic burden of around $63,000 per patient, amounting to a total economic burden of 80-100 million annually to the healthcare system.

LymphaSeal is a proprietary novel approach that can be applied broadly within the chest to treat hard to find leaks, reducing the patient’s length of stay, preventing the need for surgical intervention, and decreasing morbidity in these critically ill children. This sealant works by leveraging the properties of lymph to form a seal outside of the damaged vessel to stop the leak.

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