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Swelling: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Edema or swelling occurs when a large amount of fluid accumulates in any part of the body. Body parts can also swell from injury or inflammation. This puffiness occurs in different areas of the body like skin, especially on the hands, arms, ankles, legs, and feet. However, it can also affect the muscles, bowels, lungs, eyes, and brain. Depending on the location and cause, swelling can be of various types viz peripheral edema, pedal edema etc.

Symptoms of edema or swelling depends on the amount of swelling and location of the swell. Small area inflammations, like that from a mosquito bite do not have any specific symptoms. Otherwise a large allergic reaction like one from a bee sting will cause pain and limit arm movement. Pedal edema, specially due to fluid accumulation, can make the legs heavier and restrict locomotion. People with pulmonary edema or swelling will run out if oxygen, feel breathlessness and show low oxygen level in the blood. Other symptoms include pits on skin, abnormal size etc.

Treatment of swelling will depend on the cause of the same. Any tumor or abscess can be removed by surgery and thus, swelling can be removed. In case the cause cannot be removed by surgical operations, Doctors may use radiation or chemotherapy to shrink the swelling. Medicinal drugs are also used to provide relief from the pain and lower the swelling. Itching and swelling caused by rashes or hives can also be cured by the use of antihistamines. Also, creams and lotions can be used on doctor advice.

How is the treatment done?

In order to treat the symptoms of swelling, the doctor will first perform some physical tests to determine the root cause. He will prescribe tests like blood tests, urinalysis, imaging test, such as an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI, an X-ray, an electrocardiogram et cetera to know the real cause behind the swelling.

After diagnosis, doctors direct the treatment on the basis of the cause. For instance, the physician may prescribe diuretics if the swelling is caused by a medical condition such as congestive heart failure. If medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis is the cause behind swelling, then treatment mainly involves management and prevention of the condition. If this be managed and cured, swelling automatically diminishes. Swelling or edema which is caused due to injuries will require treatment of the root cause. This may involve bone resetting, a cast, or surgery to repair the injured area. Swelling due to tumor or abscess will require surgical operations to remove it and then lessen the swelling. If the location and size of the tumor be such that it can not be removed by surgery, then doctors use chemotherapy or radiation therapy to shrink it. pain reliever like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium are also prescribed when the swelling is painful. Apart from this, topical medications and antihistamines are also used to relieve inflammation or swelling. Also, ample rest with other techniques may be used to cure swelling. Minor swellings go away on its own and thus, do not need any medical treatment.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

People should seek immediate medical assistance or care if there be signs of a blood clot, such as, Pain and redness in the knee, thigh, calf, or groin. There can also be other signs like fever, increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness and pus secretion from those parts. Any recurring chest pain, shortness of breath and pedal swelling that does not fade away should be shown to a doctor without delay.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Any person with no severe symptoms of swelling do not need to consult a doctor. For instance, swelling and redness caused by an ant bite will go away after some time. This does not require special medical care. Also, people may at times find their legs swollen when sitting for a long time. If this goes away after some time, then there is no need to visit a doctor. Also, temporary breathlessness and panting due to some hectic work will go away itself. In such instances, people do not need any medical treatment or care.

Are there any side effects?

There are certain side effects of the treatment of swelling or edema. When radiation therapy or chemotherapy is used, patients tend to develop counter effects besides removal of the cause of swelling. Chemotherapy can cause hair fall, vomiting etc. Radiation therapy can cause skin irritation, fatigue, nausea and vomiting bowel incontinence and the inability to control bowel movements. Surgical operations, if not done carefully, can leave behind part of the tumor. This can later on cause greater complications, including secondary cancer. Use of antihistamines is also known to have some side effects in people.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After treatment, it is important to follow doctor’s advices meticulously. Regular exercises will help shrink the swell faster. Also, using cold compression and massage or physical therapy can be helpful. Patients must take care and be cautious. If any signs or symptoms of swelling recur, they should immediately consult the doctor again.

How long does it take to recover?

Any minor swelling, such as those caused by ant bites, fade away in few hours or one or two days. Minor other swells take around three days to a week’s duration to heal. Swells which are treated by surgical operations get cured after the treatment. Otherwise, application of cold supress and other methods to shrink the swell takes around a week’s time to go away completely. Swells caused due to major reasons, like kidney problems or breathing issues, take a little longer time, approximately months to cure.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Treatment cost of swelling varies hugely. Minor swells which can be cured with just medicines and topical ointments are inexpensive while those which include surgeries are more costly. General consultation fees vary from place to place and individuals, approximating Rs. 500 /-. Cost for surgeries like chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be huge, near about Rs 5,00,000 or even more.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Treatment for swelling or edema is mostly permanent. Surgeries and non surgical methods to treat swell cure the main cause and in most cases, these do not recur. However, sometimes, if part of the tumor remains in the body even after surgery, then it may swell back again with greater complications. Signs and symptoms, if found to recur, should be met with a doctor.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Swelling caused due to major issues, like that of kidney issues or cardiac issues do not have any alternative remedy apart from the routine medical treatment. But, minor swells, like those caused due to sprain, can be cured by home remedies. The injured and swelled portion must be kept at rest, and elevated to avoid further puffiness. It should be given cold or ice compression. Intake of magnesium supplements and lowering sodium content will aid to heal the swells faster. Taking Epsom salt bath or soaking the injured swelled region in a tonic bath will prevent further swelling.

Safety: Symptom Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs 500- Rs 5,00,000 /-

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Foods To Avoid In Hyperuricemia (GOUT)
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Abcess - How Can It Be Treated?

MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Varanasi
Abcess - How Can It Be Treated?
What is an abscess? An abscess is a collection of pus which built ups within the tissue of the body. It is usually tender and warm to touch. What are the statistics of it? An abscess is the most common condition and the most common presenting symptom of various diseases. The rate is approximately 65% of the population who are using intravenous drugs. What are the common causes of it? It mostly occurs in the patients with weak immunity. Following are the most common conditions which can cause abscess: Chronic use of steroid - it suppresses natural immune mechanism along with the disease Chemotherapy In diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, AIDS, peripheral vascular disorders, crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis as they cause weak immunity In severe burns In severe trauma In alcoholics, and IV drug abusers Due to poor hygiene, and poor circulation Due to bacterial infections like Staphylococcus aureus infection Due to parasites, such as dracunculiasis and myiasis What are the symptoms of it? The most common symptoms and signs of the superficial abscesses are redness, heat, swelling, pain, loss of function, and fever with, or without chills. An internal abscess shows symptoms, such as pain in the affected area, fever, and malaise. Where can it develop? It can occur in any tissue, but most frequently it occurs on the skin surface (superficial abscess). It can also occur in the lungs, brain, teeth, kidneys, tonsils, liver, perineum, hair follicle, and bones. Why does it develop? It is a defensive mechanism of the tissue. The bacteria which enters the body destroys the body cells and results in the release of cytokines. This cytokine causes white blood cells to proliferate near that area by increasing regional blood flow. All these materials with killed bacteria and kill white blood cells collect in the cavity and localize the infection by forming a capsule around it. This capsule prevents further spread of infection to the adjacent organs. How to diagnose it? A superficial abscess does not require any investigation as compared to deep abscess. Investigations, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging can be used to diagnose the deep abscesses. What is the treatment available for it? Following are the treatments which are given most commonly to treat the abscess: Incision and drainage include inspection of an abscess to identify the presence of foreign objects, and removal of it by cutting it. The pus which gets collected is also drained by this technique. Antibiotics are used where the abscess is small, and they are also administered after doing incision, and drainage. Dressing with antiseptics is also done after the incision and drainage.
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A Quick Glance At The Things You Need To Know About Turbinate Hypertrophy!
Commonly referred to as nasal concha, nasal turbinates are an important structure of the nose, which is responsible for preventing the outside dust, dirt, and various other particles from entering the lungs. When these bony and spongy structures are irritated due to irritants, they become enlarged or inflamed, blocking the nasal airways, resulting in breathing difficulty called turbinate hypertrophy. A closer look at turbinate hypertrophy Characterized by chronic enlargement or swelling of the nasal turbinates, turbinate hypertrophy is a condition where swelled turbinates lead to serious nasal congestion, causing difficulty in breathing. Though occasional swelling and shrinking of the turbinates and the sensitive blood vessels on its mucosal membrane are normal, when this happens on a chronic basis, it requires medical attention. Typically, such swelling happens to be temporary and resolves automatically without having to take any medications for it. However, sometimes swelling of the turbinates stays for long, giving rise conditions like turbinate hypertrophy. Causes Turbinate hypertrophy can be caused due to various factors, such as allergies, septum deviation, various environmental irritants, etc. While an immunological response that is triggered by the allergies leads to the swelling of these spongy parts inside the nose, irritants like cigarette smoke can also lead to the turbinates' inflammation. Sometimes when the deviation of the septum is severe, it also may result in the development of abnormal enlargement of the turbinates. Chemical irritants, hormonal changes, changes in the temperature can also cause turbinate hypertrophy. Symptoms Some of the very common symptoms of turbinate hypertrophy are persistent nasal blockage or congestions, recurring sinusitis or sinus infections, moderate to severe difficulty in breathing on both or one side of the nose. Frequent nosebleeds and snoring are also considered to be some of its other symptoms. Available Treatment Options When it comes to treating turbinate hypertrophy, there are various treatment options available, both surgical and non-surgical. While the allergy medications, various nasal sprays help in controlling the swelling of the turbinates, avoiding environmental irritants can help in preventing turbinate hypertrophy. Then there are the different surgical methods, such as rhinoplasty, septoplasty, that can help in offering a longer cure to such nasal breathing problems. However, it is only based on the root cause behind the turbinate hypertrophy and the condition of the patient that the ideal treatment can be determined by an ENT specialist. When you suffer from obstruction in the nasal airway, it is advised to contact an ENT specialist to find the actual cause behind it and obtaining necessary treatments. Because, when it comes to breathing, ignoring any issues with it can lead to a deteriorated nasal problem in the long run.

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Dr. Suhas Shah 82% (10 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, FAIS, FASIF, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS -Ortho, Fellowship In Lizarov Surgery
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Swelling in my left leg ankle from 3 years. I feel pain while walking. The swelling is only left side area. What should I do? Please suggest. I am 33 year old.

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Have rasna erandadhi Lashayam thrice daily with kaisora gulgulu tab one each before 1 hr of food. Have punarnavasavam 15 ml with amrita aristam 15 ml after food twice daily for 7 days. You will be fine. If needed continue for another 7 days too.

Hi, my Father has swollen on Right & Left feet. Please help me with details for further course of action. He do not much walk because of that.

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Hi Lybrate user Firstly need to know the underlying pathology. Go for some investigation as Blood sugar fasting and PP, Blood urea, creatinine,uric acid, electrolytes. Take syp Punarnavadi kashyam 20 ml two times a day. Tc thanks Regards.
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I am 25 years old and pursuing my doctral degree. My MRI report says its an Grade 3 ACL tears and moderate knee joint effusion. I am not facing any knee instability, but the swelling on the knee persist and I feel pain occasionally. Since reconstruction surgery takes to recover nearly 6 months and above, I do not want a surgery and ask of you is there any alternative or surgery is must.

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There is no conservative way to heel the ACL. U can try physio and quadriceps exercise which heals the pain and swelling to quite an extent. Yes if you do not have laxity and you do not have problem in running and stairs, then you can wait else surgery is the best choice.
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