Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid that causes abnormal swelling of the tissues. Your lymphatic system plays a large role in immune function and circulation. It consists of lymph vessels located under the skin, which connect to lymph nodes located in your neck, armpits, and groin. Large protein molecules are collected as the vessels move fluid out of the tissues, waste products, bacteria, and dead cells. Waste products are carried to the lymph nodes to be broken down and eliminated, while the protein rich fluid is transported back to the heart to rejoin circulation.
When the lymph vessels are unable to move lymph fluid back into circulation, it accumulates, resulting in swelling and thickening of the skin. Lymphedema most often develops in one arm or leg, but may be present in both arms and both legs. It may also occur in the hands, feet, and even the chest, back, neck, face, abdomen, and genitals.
Once the diagnosis of Lymphedema is confirmed, certain treatment procedures are indicated. There are many products to treat lymphedema and various treatments focus on reducing the swelling and controlling the pain. Our lymphedema specialists perform lymphatic massage, compression wrapping and bandaging, pneumatic compression pump, and therapeutic exercise to assist the patient in reducing lymphatic swelling.
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