Lymphedema is the buildup of fluid in an extremity that is usually drained by the lymphatic system. It typically occurs in the arms and legs though in some cases it can occur in other areas of the body. Those with lymphedema may notice swelling in one or more extremities, a feeling of heaviness or tightness, restriction of movement, and recurring infections.
Lymphedema is most commonly caused by a disruption to the lymphatic system from lymph surgery, trauma, obesity, infection, lack of activity, tumors, heart conditions, and blood vessel damage. It is diagnosed through ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans.
There is no cure for lymphedema however the symptoms can be managed. This includes occupational therapy treatments such as compression garments, physical therapy, massages, elevating the affected area, and regular exercise. Reducing salt intake, drinking plenty of fluids, and wearing loose clothing can also help.
Left untreated, lymphedema can lead to other issues. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms reach out to the team at Schneck.