What happens if Lymphedema is Not treated?

Chronic lymphedema is a progressive condition that must be treated at the onset.

lymphedema can be treated, managed, and controlled. Although Lymphedema has afflicted the population for centuries, little was understood about the disease. Only in the past ten to fifteen years have clinicians begun to seriously focus on its treatment.

Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid that causes swelling in the arms and legs. Edema occurs when venous and/or lymphatic vessels are impaired. When the impairment is so great that the lymph fluid exceeds the lymphatic transport capacity, an abnormal amount of protein fluid collects in the tissues of the extremity. Untreated, this stagnant, protein-rich fluid not only causes tissue channels to increase in size and number, but also reduces oxygen through the transport system, interferes with wound healing and provides a culture medium for bacteria that can result in various infections.

Lymphedema can occur from idiopathic or unknown causes. This is called Primary Lymphedema. Lymphedema can be present at birth, either idiopathically or associated with arterial-venous abnormalities, hemangioma, or lymphangioma. Breast or abdominal surgery can result in Secondary Lymphedema. Surgical removal of a tumor and the adjacent lymph nodes and vessels can block lymph fluid from flowing naturally through its system. Other surgeries that require lymph node removal are those performed for skin cancer (melanoma), gynecological cancers, bladder or colon cancer and prostate or testicular cancer.

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Patient Resources

Remarx Medical Services offers patients a comprehensive resource for lymphedema information and informational studies for those looking to learn more about the disease and treatment options.