The lymphatic system drains the body’s excess protein and water from all tissues.
The protein-rich lymph fluid is filtered by a series of lymph nodes and returned to the blood system. When the lymphatic system has been damaged or blocked, the lymph fluid builds up and can cause mild to severe swelling in the arms or legs called lymphedema. This condition slows the healing properties of the tissues involved and provides and ideal environment for infection.
Lymphedema is most commonly seen in the arm or leg but may occur in other body parts as well. It can be the result of surgery, radiation, infection or trauma to the effected limb. Symptoms can occur immediately after such an event, or months or years later. It may also occur spontaneously without any obvious cause.
Please notify your physician or health care provider if you experience any of the following in your arm or leg:
Prevention of Complications
Websites for Lymphedema Information
National Lymphedema Network
Lymphedema Circle of Hope
Academy of Lymphatic Studies