5 doctors weighed in:

How is lymphedema diagnosed in women?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sean Canale
Breast Surgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: Usually clinically

Most diagnoses are made clinically with signs of swelling.
Unfortunately, by that time, there is already fibrosis and changes are controllable but not reversible. Phys ther often use tape measurements which can be very variable (location, tightness of tape, dominant vs non-dom arm). Water displacement works well but cumbesome. Bioimpedance is simple and reproducible but insurance won't pay.

In brief: Usually clinically

Most diagnoses are made clinically with signs of swelling.
Unfortunately, by that time, there is already fibrosis and changes are controllable but not reversible. Phys ther often use tape measurements which can be very variable (location, tightness of tape, dominant vs non-dom arm). Water displacement works well but cumbesome. Bioimpedance is simple and reproducible but insurance won't pay.
Dr. Sean Canale
Dr. Sean Canale
Thank
Dr. Vasu Brown
Wound care
2 doctors agree

In brief: Inequality

Whenever there is a swelling if it is asymmetrical then the swelling probably is lymphedema.
It could be acute due to injury or surgery, ailments. If it is lasting a longer time then it is diagnosed as lymphedema (chronic typically is considered more than 6 months).

In brief: Inequality

Whenever there is a swelling if it is asymmetrical then the swelling probably is lymphedema.
It could be acute due to injury or surgery, ailments. If it is lasting a longer time then it is diagnosed as lymphedema (chronic typically is considered more than 6 months).
Dr. Vasu Brown
Dr. Vasu Brown
Thank
Dr. Ted King
Phlebology

In brief: Same for all

As dr. Canale said, it is usually diagnosed clinically.
Usually seen in women, lymphedema is a painless swelling of one leg, but it can be both. The hallmark of lymphedema of the legs is that the feet and toes are also swollen. If you can't pinch the skin on the top of your 2nd or 3rd toes because of swelling, then it is probably lymphedema. This is not true if you have edema from other causes.

In brief: Same for all

As dr. Canale said, it is usually diagnosed clinically.
Usually seen in women, lymphedema is a painless swelling of one leg, but it can be both. The hallmark of lymphedema of the legs is that the feet and toes are also swollen. If you can't pinch the skin on the top of your 2nd or 3rd toes because of swelling, then it is probably lymphedema. This is not true if you have edema from other causes.
Dr. Ted King
Dr. Ted King
Thank
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