ABC Medical Center > Lymphedema

What is Lymphedema?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a lymphatic system condition that, by not being able to drain the lymphatic fluid or lymph, causes it to accumulate in the body’s soft tissues, mainly affecting the upper and lower limbs, chest, abdomen, neck, and genitals, usually due to treatments that remove or damage lymph nodes, although other conditions affect lymph flow and can cause this abnormality.

Among the risk factors that can contribute to the onset of this disease are:

  • Arthritis.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Being an older adult.
  • Parasites.
  • Overweight or obesity.

If not treated in time, several serious complications can be triggered, such as:

  • Burst blisters oozing fluid.
  • Skin changes.
  • Cancer.
  • Infectious cellulitis.
  • Septicemia.

Lymphedema is classified into:

  • Primary: they can be congenital or arise during adolescence or years later.
  • Secondary: when the lymphatic system is altered by infections, surgery, radiation, or trauma.

Signs and symptoms Lymphedema

Symptoms can be mild or serious, depending on the type of lymphedema, but in general, the following symptoms are the most frequent:

  • General mobility alterations.
  • Affectations in the skin and circulatory system.
  • Cutaneous fibrosis.
  • Extreme swelling in the upper or lower limbs.
  • Recurrent infections.
  • Heavy limbs.
  • Compression sensation in the affected areas.

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and start receiving treatment immediately.

Diagnosis and treatment Lymphedema

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination to observe the increase in the size of the limbs, which can confirm the diagnosis, but they may also request diagnostic tests, such as ultrasound, lymphoscintigraphy, MRI, and computed tomography.

Even though lymphedema has no cure and can be very annoying for those who suffer from it, the treatment will seek to reduce the inflammation and the development of any complications through antibiotics, exercises, lymphatic drainage massages, compression garments, and stockings, as well as how to maintain extreme skincare.

If deemed necessary, surgery may be required to:

  • Create new drainage pathways.
  • Remove fibrous tissue.
  • Lymph node transplant.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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