The medical condition known as lymphedema is a complex disorder that can present itself in various forms, causing great distress to those affected. Characterized by the abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the tissue, lymphedema consists of 2 broad types: primary and secondary.
Primary lymphedema refers to cases that can’t be attributed to another underlying etiology, usually found as part of genetic syndromes. Secondary lymphedema arises from external causes such as infection, irradiation, trauma, or surgery.
Here at the New York Vein Treatment Center, we specialize in diagnosing and treating lymphedema. Schedule an appointment with our lymphedema treatment clinic today if you’re experiencing symptoms.
We’ll discuss what lymphedema is, what causes it, and the treatments that help manage it.
What is lymphedema, and what causes it?
Lymphedema is a condition where excess fluid collects in tissues and causes swelling. It develops when the lymphatic system, which helps move fluid throughout the body, becomes weakened or damaged.
Common causes of lymphedema include the following:
- Cancer radiation treatments
- Lymph node removal
- Lymph vessel injury
If you are experiencing symptoms of lymphedema, visiting a lymphedema treatment clinic could be beneficial in investigating and managing the condition.
What are the symptoms of lymphedema, and how is it diagnosed?
The most common symptom of lymphedema is swelling of the arms, legs, fingers, or toes that starts gradually and worsens over time.
Other symptoms include the following:
- Decreased flexibility
- Pain in the affected area
- Recurring skin infections
- Joint tightness
- Hardening or thickening of the skin
Diagnosing lymphedema begins with a physical exam which may lead to other exploratory methods:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
Doctors may also measure arm or leg circumference and compare it to the other limb.
How is lymphedema treated, and how can I prevent it from worsening?
Lymphedema treatment works to reduce the swelling and discomfort caused by the condition. A lymphedema treatment clinic may advise on suitable clothing, exercises, and wraps to manage symptoms.
Massage therapy may also be recommended, along with compression garments. In some cases, manual lymphatic drainage therapy or complex decongestive physiotherapy may be used as part of a lymphedema management program.
If your doctor suspects an infection is present, antibiotics may be prescribed.
To prevent lymphedema from worsening, avoid standing or sitting for long periods. Exercising keeps the fluids moving, and elevating affected limbs helps reduce swelling. It’s also recommended to avoid extreme heat.
Living with Lymphedema
It’s important to note that there’s no cure for lymphedema. While treatments alleviate symptoms, lymphedema must be managed through lifestyle changes and medical interventions.
Wear properly fitted and prescribed compression garments at all times. Consult your doctor on appropriate exercise routines such as walking or stretching.
Try eating fewer carbs and watch your salt intake. It’s crucial to adopt proper cleansing and skincare routines to prevent infections. Additionally, managing stress levels through relaxation techniques or meditation can help reduce swelling.
Overall, one of the most critical lifestyle changes involves managing your weight. Being overweight and obese not only gives you a higher risk of developing lymphedema but can also worsen it. Also, increased body fat causes inflammation.
When to Call a Lymphedema Treatment Clinic
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, call a lymphedema treatment clinic to receive a proper diagnosis. Other conditions cause swelling, and it’s essential to know the cause to receive adequate treatment.
You need to call a doctor immediately if you’ve already been diagnosed with lymphedema and you’re beginning to experience worsening or new symptoms. Also, seek immediate medical attention when you experience sudden swelling or drastic changes to the appearance of your limbs.
Looking for a Lymphedema Treatment Clinic in New York?
At New York Vein Treatment Center, we specialize in venous and lymphatic circulatory issues. We can investigate the underlying causes of your swelling and give you the correct diagnosis for what you’re experiencing.
We opened our clinic in 2007, and we’ve been successfully treating lymphedema and changing people’s lives for the better ever since. Our treatments focus on you, your needs, and your preferences. We want to give you therapies that help you get back to your everyday life.
Before opening New York Vein Treatment Center, Dr. Khitin gained notoriety as an accomplished general, cardiac, cardiovascular, and endovascular surgeon within prestigious hospitals such as Chicago’s Heart Institute and San Francisco’s Stanford-UCSF.
Contact New York Vein Treatment Center when you’re ready to be seen by the best lymphedema treatment clinic in the US!