What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema corresponds to a swelling of the tissues infiltrated by an abnormal quantity of fluids. When the lymphatic vessels do not drain the lymph efficiently, it leaks and accumulates in the neighbouring subcutaneous tissues. This causes swelling of the affected region.
Where does it come from?
This condition may be caused by poor development of the lymphatic system or its damage following an injury. Although it is often chronic, it is possible to control it.
Two main origins of lymphedema are identified:
- Primary lymphedema: this is a rare condition, where the dysfunction of the lymphatic system is congenital, and where the symptoms appear later at random.
- Secondary lymphedema: this is more frequent and is the consequence of surgery, an injury or radiotherapy during cancer treatment.
How can it be recognized?
More commonly affecting the legs, but sometimes the arms or other regions of the body, lymphedema is mainly characterized by swelling of the affected region. It is often accompanied by a feeling of heaviness or stiffness, a certain degree of pain or sensitivity, twinges, loss of mobility of the affected area, and tugging of the skin.
Treatment solutions for lymphedema
- Wear compression garments
Compression treatment is intended to improve lymphatic circulation and prevent the accumulation of fluids in the tissues causing edema. It can help prevent the appearance of swelling and its complications, reduce its volume and relieve discomfort.