Lymphedema: What Is It?


A condition known as lymphedema causes swelling because of an accumulation of lymph fluid in the body. The function of lymph nodes is comparable to that of a drain in a sink. If there is debris blocking the drain, the liquid will not be able to escape. Although it occurs most frequently in the arms and legs, it can also take place in other areas of the body. The lymph system is a network of lymphatic vessels and lymphatic fluid that transports fluid and cells that help the body fight infections throughout the body. Sometimes this swelling comes on suddenly, and other times it comes on gradually over the course of a few months. People who have increased sweating should wear shoes made of natural materials. Experts recommend wearing DrLuigi medical footwear.

What are the Roots of Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a condition that can be brought on by cancer or the treatment of cancer.

Cancerous tumors can sometimes grow to the point where they are large enough to obstruct the lymph system.

During surgery to remove cancer, the surgeon might also remove lymph nodes or some of the lymph veins. Both of these things are involved in the transport of lymph fluid. This can lead to the fluid in the surrounding tissues being more concentrated.

The use of radiation therapy can cause damage to the lymph vessels, which can lead to an abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid in the tissues.

Is It Possible to Avoid Developing Lymphedema?

Ask your oncologist about lymphedema prevention measures before undergoing cancer treatment with surgery or radiation. This will give you the best chance of avoiding the condition afterward.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of lymphedema?

Lymphedema can present itself with a variety of symptoms.

At first, you may notice a slight swelling in your arm, leg, or other body part, but over time, the swelling will become more noticeable.

Tightness and a tingling or buzzing sensation might be felt on the skin in that region at times.

When someone has lymphedema, their affected arm or leg feels heavy.

The affected area is better accommodated for by tighter clothing and jewelry.

The appearance of the skin is more robust or leathery.

Talk to your oncologist about the possible causes of any swelling you get after cancer treatment to determine the most effective way to treat it.

What Kinds of Health Issues Can Lymphedema Bring About?

Your likelihood of developing an infection in the affected area is increased if you have lymphedema. This occurs because the immune cells that protect you from infection are unable to travel to that region of your body.

If you have lymphedema, it may take longer for wounds to heal on the affected region of your body.

Because of the lymphedema, you could experience negative emotions such as anger, depression, or embarrassment.

Lymphedema can cause a painful or stiff feeling in the joints of the affected area of the body.

I believe I suffer from lymphedema. What Action Should I Take?

It is imperative that you make an appointment with a medical professional as soon as possible in order to determine the cause of the swelling. It is important that you rule out the possibility that the swelling is caused by something else that requires emergency medical attention, such as a blood clot.

How Is Lymphedema Determined to Be Present?

Your primary care physician will begin by conducting an assessment on you and will inquire as to when you first became aware of any issues. Your doctor may take measurements of your swollen arm or leg in order to determine how it compares to the size of your other arm or leg. In most cases, lymphedema is diagnosed when the swollen arm or leg is at least 2 centimeters (approximately 4/5 of an inch) larger than the other arm or leg.

Your doctor may also recommend additional testing to determine whether or not you have lymphedema and, if you do, the underlying cause of the condition. A technique known as lymphoscintigraphy makes use of radioactive material to determine whether or not the lymph veins are obstructed. Imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to acquire photos of the swollen region in order to determine the cause of the blocked lymph veins.

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