how lymphedema is caused and what are the possible methods like any type of surgery to cure it?

Asked by  | 14th Apr, 2012, 09:31: PM

Expert Answer:

Lymphedema is a collection of fluid that causes swelling (edema) in the arms and legs. Lymphedema occurs when your lymph vessels are unable to adequately drain lymph fluid, usually from an arm or leg.
Lymphedema can be either primary or secondary. This means it can occur on its own (primary lymphedema) or it can be caused by another disease or condition (secondary lymphedema). Secondary lymphedema is far more common than primary lymphedema. 
Any condition or procedure that damages your lymph nodes or lymph vessels can cause lymphedema. One of the causes of lymphedema is surgery to remove lymph nodes, usually during cancer treatment. Other causes include radiation treatment for cancer, certain medicines, infection and injury to the lymph nodes.
Primary lymphedema is a rare, inherited condition caused by problems with the development of lymph vessels in your body. Primary lymphedema occurs most frequently in women.

Treatment for lymphedema depends on its cause and includes wearing compression garments such as stockings or sleeves, proper diet and skin care, and fluid drainage.

Elevating an arm or leg that has swelling can help ease the drainage of lymph fluid from the affected limb. Whenever possible, rest a swollen arm or leg on a comfortable surface, above the level of your heart and avoiding putting pressure on the armpit or groin area. Gentle exercise can help reduce swelling. The use of muscles during exercise naturally helps lymph fluid to circulate, which can reduce swelling. However, exercise also increases blood flow to the muscles being used, which can increase the amount of lymph fluid present. If you have swelling, it is important to properly bandage an affected limb before exercising. Consulting a doctor or health professional is essential for this.

Answered by  | 16th Apr, 2012, 08:34: AM

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