Lymphedema is a chronic swelling of an extremity or part of the body caused by a deficiency in the flow of lymph fluid from the area due to:
- Surgical removal of lymph nodes (i.e. mastectomy or prostate surgery).
- Congenital (born with) defect of having too few or impaired lymphatics or lymph nodes.
- Destruction of extensive lymphatic pathways due to trauma, surgery or radiation.
Symptoms of Lymphedema
- Swelling of the extremities, trunk or face, ranging from minimal to extreme.
- When pressing a finger to the swollen area, the indent lasts several seconds before returning to normal.
- Tissue may be so hard you can't indent.
- Sometimes tissue has a slightly blanched color where fluid is most congested.
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