Doctor insights on:
How Long Does Lymphedema Generally Last
Life long concern: We try to prevent - with sentinel lymph node biopsies to decrease extent of surgery under the arm but it is always a concern I follow people with the ldex unit to measure their arms with electrical impedance to catch it early before we see it. It can be reversed and limited early in its course. One must avoid any arm infection, BP measurements or venous punctures on the affected arm. ...Read more
The lymph channels work to return fluid from the lower extremities back towards the heart, and filter out bacteria. If the lymph channels and not functioning appropriately swelling of the affected limb is most common presentation. The swelling usually occurs during daily activities and improves with leg elevation. In order to prevent swellingUse a compression ...Read more
Swelling is an enemy: Lymphedema has several causes. The swelling is bothersome, makes your legs heavy. Uncontrolled and with time, swelling causes permanent skin damage, skin color change, ulcerations, poor wound healing. Doctors recommend compression devices as first line therapy to control swelling. Ice packs, leg elevation, some interventions, a doctor visit, leg vein ultrasoud might also help control swelling. ...Read more
Lymphedema treatment: Unfortunately, if you haven't had surgery and/or radiation, there is a very good chance that the cause of your lymphedema will be impossible to determine. If there is a treatable cause, it should be treated. Otherwise, the treatment is manual lymphatic drainage, compression stockings, decongestion exercises, weight loss (if needed), and intermittent pneumatic compression for life. ...Read more
Primary vs secondary: As dr. Rosen said, the major cause of lymphedema is lymphatic obstruction. This is most commonly due to cancer and its treatment: surgery and/or radiation. This is secondary lymphedema because there is an identifiable cause. The other type of lymphedema is primary. This means that there is no cause we can identify and is usually because part of your lymph drainage system doesn't form or fails. ...Read more
Clinically usually: Lymphedema occurs when a clear fluid known as lymphatic fluid builds up in the soft tissues of your body, usually in an arm or leg. Diagnois is best made clinically in at risk patients. For example, swelling on the legs and esp. The top of the feet is a classic sign. Tests that may be ordered include ultrasound, ct scans, and MRI but they are done to rule other other diagnosis's. ...Read more
Surprisingly common: According to lymphnotes. Com (http://www. Lymphnotes. Com/article. Php/id/401/), in the U.S., just within the medicare age population, the number of persons afflicted with lymphedema, or at risk of developing it, exceeds 6.8 million individuals. That would include all causes of lyphedema both primary (don't know the cause) and secondary (due to cancer, radiation, surgery, etc.). ...Read more
It can: Early lymphedema can pit, which is one of the reasons why it can be hard to diagnose in its early stages. This is especially true if there is also some component of venous insufficiency associated with the lymphedema. Later stages of lymphedema are associated with tissue fibrosis which has lost its ability to be able to pit. ...Read more
Surgery+/-Radiation: Anything that disrupts the lymphatic microcirculation of an extremity can cause lymphedema. The most common cause is the surgical removal of lymph nodes (ln) to stage certain cancers (breast and melanoma, most commonly). Breast cancer treatment often includes radiation therapy; if the lns are included in the radiation field, the risks increase. Thankfully, rates are down due to new techniques. ...Read more
Good diet: Lymphedema fluid is high in protein and so the fluid that creates the swelling pulls a lot of protein out of your circulation. As a result, a higher protein diet is a good idea. Avoiding salt is also smart. A fluid restriction is not thought to be helpful. Otherwise a healthy general diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is a good thing. If you are overweight, weight loss helps the swelling. ...Read more
The same for all: Whether male or female, treatment is the same. The mainstay is decongestive therapy as dr. Brown said. This includes elastic compression stockings, non-elastic circ-aids garments, sequential compression devices, lymphatic drainage/massage, diet and exercise. A great source of info is lymphnet. Org, as dr. Wagner said. ...Read more
Most lymphedema can be improved with physical therapy/compression. There is a new technique of lymph node transfer that can dramatically improve certain cases. It is microsurgical transfer of nodes to a draining basin to improve symptoms and hopefully grow more channels.
Call 321-841-7090 as the institute of microsurgery at orlando health now offers this! ...Read more
Sometimes: Acquired lymphedema during pregnancy or from overload of venous insufficiency may be treated successfully by wearing compression stockings during pregnancy and then treated by a vein specialist and a lymphedema specialist after the pregnancy. See a lymphedema specialist: lymphology association of north america and find a phlebolgy specialist: www. Phlebolgy. Org and www. Morrisonvein. Org for more. ...Read more
Sometimes: Lymphedema is cause by poor circulation of lymph which is the protein filled fluid that circulates and bathes cells. Usually it is caused from injury by cancer, surgery, or infection. It can be caused by obesity or pregnancy with the weight of the belly impairing circulation. In these last two cases if or when the weight is removed, the lymphedema may resolve. ...Read more
Lymphedema: Lymphedema is a chronic medical condition that requires daily care and attention. This is no different than a multitude of other medical problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. There are specialists in lymphedema that you should seek out. For example, many physical therapists specialize in the treatment (control) of lymphedema. Treatments include compression wraps. ...Read more
Lymphedema: This condition is common after lymphatic dysfunction causing build up of lymphatic fluid in the space between tissues that don't drain normally into venous channels. This most commonly happens due to trauma (surgery removing nodes), scarring (Radiation) or physical blockage (pregnancy) of the lymphatics. Regular lymphatic massage is found useful in improving this condition. ...Read more
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