Lymphedema 101

Lymphedema 101

Lymphedema is a chronic condition characterized by swelling and/or discomfort in affected areas of the body. Under ordinary circumstances, the clear fluid that bathes the spaces between the body’s cells (interstitial, or extracellular fluid) drains into local lymphatic vessels, where it is recirculated toward the heart and into the general circulation. This fluid is called lymph when it circulates through the lymphatic vessels. 

Under certain circumstances lymphatic vessels become incapable of draining lymph properly. Fluid builds up in local tissues, resulting in lymphedema. Some people are born with this condition. In other instances, lymphedema results from vessel damage due to cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, lymph node removal, radiation therapy, or trauma. Although incurable, lymphedema is managed through a multi-pronged approach, which includes wearing medical-grade graduated-compression garments. 

Lymphedema 101 Infographic

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  1. I have it in both legs and manage it by exercise and compression hose.(thigh high)edlevitin@comcast.net

  2. I haven’t been faithful lately due to my brother being terminally ill and assisting in his care and have been too tired to do my MLD’S . My arm doesn’t appear to have gotten to big but I worry about it. I am faithful about my compression garments & jovipak at night.

    1. That must be so difficult for you Martha, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. don’t forget to take care of YOU as well though. Caregivers tend to get put on the back burner. Keep up with your nighttime compression at least. Good luck!

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  3. Thank you for explaining it very clearly. I have lymphedema in my left foot from an injury plus having inherit it also.

    I have been loosing weight and I can’t believe how that has helped also. I also will wear compression socks when traveling long distance and flying.

    Thank you for sending this information to me

  4. Pingback: Could You Be Predisposed to Lymphedema? | Lymphedema Products

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