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?
Diagnosis of the same is done by a general physician who would physically examine the swelling and also do blood tests and tissue tests to check node damage. Doppler ultrasound and MRI scan are also done.
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?
Lymphoedema can lead to lymphangiosarcoma that is a rare soft tissue cancer when left untreated.