Lymphedema

Samantha Hubbard

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is the collection of fluid that causes edema (swelling) in your arms and legs.

What to know about lymphedema;

Cause?

Surgery to remove lymph nodes usually during cancer treatment. Lymph nodes filter fluid as it flows through the body which traps bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances which are then destroyed by white blood cells. Improper drainage is what causes the swelling known as lymphedema. This type is known as secondary lymphedema. Lymphedema brought on at birth is called primary lymphedema which the cause of this is unknown.

Symptoms?

Some things to look for are most common...

- Tightness of clothes in the arms and legs area

- Tightness of jewelry such as bracelets and rings

- Noticeable fullness in arms and legs

- Less flexibility

Treatment?

- Compression garments such as stockings or sleeves

- Proper diet and skin care

- Fluid drainage

- Elevation arms and legs

- Gentle exercise with proper bandaging of arms and legs, but to much exercise can cause extreme blood flow that causes the swelling to be worse