Lymphedema is the name of a type of swelling. It happens when lymph builds up in your body's soft tissues. Lymph is a fluid that contains white blood cells that defend against germs. It can build up when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. It usually happens in the arms or legs.
Causes of lymphedema include
- Scar tissue from radiation therapy or surgical removal of lymph nodes
- Inherited conditions in which lymph nodes or vessels are absent or abnormal
Treatment can help control symptoms. It includes exercise, compression devices, skin care, and massage.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
- Lymphatic Filariasis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Lymphedema as a Cancer Treatment Side Effect (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
- Hennekam syndrome: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- lymphedema-distichiasis syndrome: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- Meige disease: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Lymphedema (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Body Mass Index and Lymphedema Morbidity: Comparison of Obese versus Normal-Weight...
- Article: Economic Costs and Benefits of Community-Based Lymphedema-Management Programs for Lymphatic Filariasis...
- Article: Interventions for Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema: Clinical Practice Guideline From the Academy...
- Lymphedema -- see more articles