Lymphedema is a condition that results in the swelling of the arm(s) or leg(s). This condition is chronic and incurable, with many complications and eventual disability, mandating earliest involvement with a dedicated lymphedema management center. Lymphedema is caused by compromised lymphatic drainage due to damage to lymph nodes or lymphatic vessels, and the development of edema (swelling) of the involved extremity due to retained lymphatic fluid.
The lymphatic system is a part of our circulatory system, responsible for returning back to the heart a non-water-soluble substance. The most common cause of lymphedema in developed countries is surgical lymph node dissection (removal), performed to control the spread of different types of malignancies (cancer).
Symptoms of lymphedema include swelling, pain, heaviness, tiredness, and fatigue with difficulty moving the affected limb. Lymphedema can be improved with persistent, meticulous therapeutic management, including but not limited to graduated compression garments, manual lymphatic drainage, sequential compression devices, and specialized exercise.
NY Vein Treatment Center is a state-of-the-art facility specializing in dedicated, focused evaluation, multimodal therapeutic management, and prevention of lymphedema and its complications. Our experienced physicians provide personalized care to each patient, ensuring the best outcome. We offer a variety of treatment modalities, including but not limited to manual lymphatic drainage, graduated customized therapeutic compression therapy, sequential compression devices, and specialized progressive exercise programs. We also offer a comprehensive education program to help patients and their families better understand the condition and ways of its management.
If you or a loved one are suffering from lymphedema, we encourage you to contact us today to learn more about our Lymphedema Treatment Clinic. We are here to help you regain your quality of life.
Lymphedema is a condition that results from lymph accumulation in between the cells of soft tissues, with the development of chronic progressive edema (swelling). Lymphedema or lymphostasis disease can occur anywhere in the body, but it most commonly affects our extremities. Lymphedema is differentiated by its cause, such as hereditary and acquired, degree of severity, nature of underlying condition, clinical course, and many other criteria, while remaining a chronic progressive uncurable disease, mandating regular continuous meticulous multispecialty management, minor deviations, and inconsistencies in which can be proved to be detrimental.
There are a limited number of medical conditions responsible for the development of lymphedema, including:
– Cancer: subsequently to either direct invasion of cancer cells into lymph nodes, with their destruction and obstruction, therefore, of corresponding lymphatic channels; or, more commonly, due to surgical dissection of lymph nodes, performed as a part of cancer spread control and prevention of remote metastases. Finally, perioperative radiation therapy can compromise lymphatic vessels, and occasionally lymph nodes.
– Infection: lymphatic filariasis is caused by parasitic filarial worms, leading to a syndrome called elephantiasis. It is transferred via mosquito bites and is the most common cause of disability in the world. It is endemic to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands.
-Hereditary lymphedema, rare primary lymphedema, existing independently or as a part of complex congenital anomalies, such as Milroy’s disease, Turner syndrome, Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, Emberger syndrome, and very few other ones.
Lymphedema is swelling due to an accumulation of lymph in the affected area, most commonly an extremity.
- Subjective perception of swelling is a feeling of heaviness or fullness in the affected limb
- Pain, achiness, or other types of discomfort in the affected limb
- Decreased range of passive and active flexion and extension in the affected limb
- Eventual development of skin changes, such as hardening and thickening, recurrent ulceration, brown discoloration (lymphostasis pigmentation)
- Increased risk of skin infection, known as Erysipelas.
If you have any of the above signs or symptoms, it is important to see one of our doctors so that you can begin treatment and, therefore, prevent further deterioration and the development of complications.
Lymphedema Treatment Options
There is no cure for lymphedema, but there are therapeutic modalities that can help to control the swelling and improve your quality of life. Some of such treatment options include, but are not limited to:
- Regularly performed manual lymphatic drainage: a type of massage that helps to encourage the movement of lymph fluid.
- Sequential compression devices use intermittent pneumatic external compression therapy with multi-chamber sleeves, inflated sequentially in the direction of physiological lymphatic flow.
- Graduated therapeutic external compression therapy: wearing precisely fitted compression garments or bandages to preserve the current stage of edema and prevent it from further deterioration or development of complications.
- Physical therapy routines: special exercise programs designed to control the degree of swelling and improve overall fitness by means of cardiovascular conditioning.
- Surgery: reserved as a last reserve. Some examples include suction-assisted lipectomy, vascularized lymph node transfer, and lymphovenous bypass, among several others.
At NY Vein Center, we understand that Lymphedema is a condition that can be frustrating and painful. With proper treatment through our Lymphedema Treatment Center, you can manage your symptoms and enjoy your life. With proper treatment, you can manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.