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Lymphoedema is a chronic (long-term) condition that causes swelling in the body's tissues. It can affect any part of the body, but usually develops in the arms or legs. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. It results from a blockage in the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. Other signs and symptoms of early or mild lymphedema include:
• a decreased ability to see or feel the veins or tendons in the extremities,
• tightness of jewelry or clothing,
• redness of the skin,
• asymmetrical appearance of the extremities,
• tightness or reduced flexibility in the joints, and
• slight puffiness of the skin.
HOW IS LYMPHOEDEMA DIAGNOSED?
Lymphoedema is diagnosed with a number of different tests, including:
• Physical examination – taking into account the person’s prior medical history.
• Scans – specialised x-rays, including CT scans and especially lymphoscintigraphy (which gives a functional picture of the lymphatic system).
• Bioimpedance – to detect fluids.
• Perometry – to detect limb volume and circumference changes.
• Tonometry – to detect changes in the toughness of the limb.
HOW IS LYMPHOEDEMA TREATED?
Treatment for Lymphoedema is based on the symptoms and severity of disease. Treatment options are exercises, wrapping arm or leg with a bandage and massage helps relieve symptoms of Lymphoedema. Other treatment aids are compression clothing and pneumatic compression
DID YOU KNOW?
With lifestyle modifications and healthy diet, this problem can be controlled.