Lymphedema is defined as an accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the soft tissues of the body due to damage of the lymphatic system. Most of the swelling and edema occurs in the arms and legs. The most common cause of lymphedema is cancer treatment that involves the surgical removal of cancerous lymph nodes, or lymph node damage from chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Other causes of lymphedema are infection and the cancer itself. The swelling can be mild or severe depending on how many lymph nodes were damaged.
The swelling can occur soon after your lymph nodes become damaged or it can be delayed for several months before it is detected. The arms and legs will seem heavy, and may have dull, achy pain with reduced range of motion in the joints of the arms and legs. If you are feeling these symptoms or are having difficulty in reducing your edema in your extremities, please call our office to make an appointment for edema and swelling treatment.