Lymphedema is a swelling of a body part, usually an extremity, caused by an abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid in the interstitial tissues. It commonly develops when lymphatic vessels are missing, impaired, or when there has been a removal of lymph nodes or damaged lymph vessels.
Who is at risk
Individuals who have had surgery for any type of cancer that requires the removal of lymph nodes.
Individuals who have had radiation therapy for treatment of cancer can have damage to healthy nodes and vessels.
Individuals who have had a severe traumatic injury that has caused damage to areas of the lymph system.
Heaviness in a limb with a “full” feeling.
Decreased flexibility in the hand or ankle.
Clothing fitting tightly in one specific area
(one sleeve or pant leg).
Unusual hand jewelry tightness with sudden onset and persistence.
It is important to seek medical advice from your Physician before beginning treatment. Treatments offered for Lymphedema are performed by individuals trained in methods of decongestive lymphatic massage, aquatic exercise and fitted compression garment.
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