ABOUT LYMPHEDEMA

ABOUT LYMPHEDEMA

WHAT IS LYMPHEDEMA

Lymphedema is a buildup of protein-rich fluid which usually causes arm or leg swelling but may affect other parts of the body as well. The lymphatic system is like the plumbing system for the body. It is responsible for draining excess bodily fluid. When some of this plumbing system is damaged or removed, a backup may occur. The swelling does not easily subside with elevation of the limb or by taking medication. Lymphedema treatment provided by our certified therapists will prevent your condition from worsening and will give you the education and training to manage your condition long term.

 

WHO IS AT RISK

Patients may be born with lymphedema (primary) or can develop swelling and other lymphedema symptoms anytime throughout their life. Primary lymphedema can be caused by congenital problems or genetically inherited. Patients may develop lymphedema due to axillary node removal, sentinel node biopsy, radiation therapy, peripheral vascular disease, blood clots (DVT), surgery, phlebitis, or repeated skin infections (cellulitis). This is known as secondary lymphedema.

 

SYMPTOMS

  • Swelling of the arm or leg
  • Heaviness, achiness, or tingling of the arm or leg
  • Jewelry or clothing may begin to feel tighter than normal
  • Restricted range of motion of the arm or leg
  • Recurring skin infections
  • Thickening and/or hardening of the skin

 

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

LymphedemaMD has an onsite physician who can conduct a physical evaluation to determine whether or not your arm or leg swelling is related to lymphedema and whether or not you are a good candidate for lymphedema treatment.

 

CAN IT BE CURED

Since there is no cure for lymphedema, the goal of our comprehensive lymphedema treatment program is to reduce the swelling in your arm(s) or leg(s) and to maintain the reduction. Complete decongestive therapy (CDT), in conjunction with vasopneumatic compression, can greatly improve lymphedema symptoms and maximize the potential for achieving and maintaining normal limb size. LymphedemaMD is San Antonio’s premier outpatient clinic providing Complete Decongestive Therapy. CDT is the gold standard of lymphedema care and includes Manual lymph drainage, compression bandaging, exercise programs and skin care.

 

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