What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a swelling caused by damage to the lymphatic system. It usually affects the arms or legs. It may also affect the hands, feet, face, neck, back, chest or genitals.
Signs of lymphedema include swelling of the limbs, and sometimes other areas of the body. Also, the patient will often experience painful burning and aching sensations. These symptoms are often accompanied by fatigue, fibrotic hardening of the skin, and impaired joint mobility.
There are two types of lymphedema: Primary and Secondary.
PRIMARY LYMPHEDEMA –
is the result of an abnormality of the lymphatic system. In most cases it is caused by:
- Congenital Lymphedema (Milroy’s disease) develops in infancy and causes lymph nodes to form abnormally.
- Lymphedema Praecox (Meige’s disease) develops around puberty or during pregnancy, it could occur later, up to age thirty five.
- Lymphedema Tarda (Late-onset lymphedema) rarely develops, but occurs after age thirty five.