Jefferson-Abington Hospital Office


Price Medical Office Building,
1245 Highland Ave Suite 600 ,
Abington, PA 19001



Blank Vascular Center Office


1200 Old York Road,
Abington, PA 19001



Lansdale Office


125 Medical Campus Drive,
Suite 205,
Lansdale, PA 19446



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.


  • Surgical removal of lymph nodes or  vein harvest for heart surgery.
  • Radiation therapy
  • Accidental trauma- bruises, cuts, burns, sunburns, sprains, insect bites, pet scratches.
  • Primary Lymphedema may be spontaneous with no predisposing intervention or trauma


Please notify your physician or health care provider if you experience any of the following in your arm or leg:

  • Redness and warmth- this could indicate an infection called cellulites.
  • Feeling of tightness
  • Feeling of heaviness
  • Feeling of pins and needles
  • Swelling or increase in size of arm or leg
  • Leakage of fluid through the skin

Prevention of Complications

  • Use compression stockings daily
  • Use sunblock – SPF 30 or higher on affected area
  • Treat your skin gently – use a low pH lotion such as Eucerin
  • Treat cuts and scratches with special care – clean well and protect
  • Use an electric razor for shaving
  • Eat a well balanced diet- avoid excess salt and fat.
  • Exercise is important
  • Wear non-restrictive clothing
  • Avoid exposing skin to extreme temperatures
  • Be careful when cutting nails and DO NOT cut cuticles

Websites for Lymphedema Information

National Lymphedema Network

Lymphedema Circle of Hope

Academy of Lymphatic Studies