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What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema occurs when the lymphatic system is compromised. The system is unable to transport lymph efficiently and results in a buildup and backup of protein-rich lymph fluid - Lymphedema. This process does not occur overnight, it is a slow progressive swelling that may not be noticed right away. In many cases, it is misdiagnosed by physicians.

 

Lymphedema is a lifelong chronic disease with currently no cure. The good news is that management is possible. The gold standard treatment is Complete Decongestive Therapy. The best time to seek treatment is when you first suspect that there is something "not right". Swelling is never normal without a known and confirmed cause.

Empowering yourself with knowledge
  • Gradual swelling of limbs, abdomen, face neck or genitals

 

  • Feeling of heaviness in the affected area

 

  • Restricted range of motion in the affected area

 

  • Recurring infections in the affected area

 

  • Hardening and thickening of the skin on the affected area (usually seen in later stages)

What to notice:
  • Genetics - Surgery - Radiation
     

  • Trauma - Infection - Filariasis
     

  • Malignant Tumors
     

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency
     

  • Immobility - Obesity
     

  • Unknown

Causes:
Awareness: First Step to Healing

Just beneath the surface of the skin, the lymphatic system is responsible for transporting lymph through the lymphatic vessels, tissue, and nodes. The system works together to filter toxins, regulates fluids, and maintains a healthy immune system.