Have you been experiencing strange swelling in different parts of your body? Perhaps it’s in your legs or your arms? If it occurs persistently, it could indicate a severe medical condition, such as lymphedema.
Lymphatic obstruction or lymphedema is a long-term condition where excessive fluid build-up in tissues causes swelling in the body. If you have been suffering from chronic or prolonged swelling, you may be suffering from this condition.
Obstruction of the Lymphatic System
One of the most critical parts of the immune system is the lymphatic system. A fluid called lymph circulates throughout the lymphatic system to improve the functioning of the immune system.
Lymphedema is a condition that results from the blockage of the lymphatic system, which accumulates the lymph fluid in limbs, leading to swelling.
In this article, we will be taking a look at some essential facts about lymphedema, including:
- What is lymphedema?
- What causes it?
- Treatments for lymphedema
- Benefits of lymphedema treatment
All this information will help you to understand lymphedema management in Arizona and get effective control over your condition to lead a healthy and fuller lifestyle.
Keep in mind, if you have unexplainable chronic swelling, it is better not to take a risk and visit us for consultation.
Lymphedema is an internal condition, which is caused by damage to or the removal of lymph nodes in the body. The lack of or damaged lymph nodes makes it difficult for the lymphatic system to drain lymph fluid adequately. As a result of the obstruction, lymph fluid accumulates in lymph tissues in the limbs, which results in swelling and pain.
Although there is no cure for lymphedema, you should not lose hope. With advances in medical science, lymphedema management in Arizona is a reality. The right treatment can help you alleviate your symptoms and live a happier life.
Why You Might Have Lymphedema
To better understand lymphedema management in Arizona, it is imperative to know the two types of lymphedema: primary lymphedema and secondary lymphedema.
Primary Lymphedema is a rare and chronic condition that affects many people. The likelihood of someone getting it is that they have a rare mutation in some of their genes, which are involved in the function and development of the lymphatic system’s development.
The result of the mutation of those genes can cause the lymphatic system to malfunction and lead to lymphedema.
While it is not as rare as primary lymphedema, secondary lymphedema is also a condition that affects the lymphatic system. The reason why it is more common than primary lymphedema is because of specific factors that can affect the body. These reasons may include:
- Cancer Surgery: In some cases, cancer can spread throughout the body while piggybacking on the lymphatic system. To prevent the spread of disease, surgeons may remove the lymph nodes. One of the possible risks of this surgery is that the lymphatic system can be affected adversely and lead to lymphedema.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is commonly used to destroy cancerous tissues. It is a very aggressive treatment and can affect the nearby healthy tissue. Any damage to the lymphatic system via radiation therapy can also lead to lymphedema.
- Inflammatory Conditions: Conditions like eczema and rheumatoid arthritis, which cause the tissue to swell, can permanently damage the lymphatic system, resulting in lymphedema.
Cardiovascular Diseases: Lymphedema can be a symptom of a cardiovascular disease affecting blood flow. Deep vein thrombosis, venous leg ulcers, and varicose veins can also be a cause of lymphedema.
Symptoms of Lymphedema
If you want to be sure about deciding to go for lymphedema management in Arizona, here are some symptoms that can help you recognize whether or not you have it.
- A general feeling of heaviness and tightness in your body
- Recurring infections in your body
- Hardening and the thickening of your skin, Fibrosis
- Swelling in any parts of the legs or the arms (or both), even the toes and fingers
- Discomfort, restricted mobility and aching
Lymphedema caused by cardiovascular or venous diseases, including DVT, venous insufficiency and varicose veins can be controlled with proper treatment. These venous diseases usually appear in the legs. With appropriate treatment for these diseases, lymphedema management in Arizona might not be a problem.
Properly-managed treatment can make lymphedema management in Arizona a possibility. It can help to reduce your swelling and pain.
Complex Decongestive Therapy is made of four major components that can address lymphedema and control it to the point where you can live a healthy life:
You can do light exercises to release lymph fluid from the affected limb.
Cellulitis and other skin infections can be avoided by using healthy skin care products and practices.
Multilayer Lymphedema Bandaging:
This is bandaging wrapped on the muscles surrounding lymph nodes and vessels. It applies pressure on them in a way that it encourages the lymphatic fluid to move throughout the system.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage:
Manual lymphatic drainage is a therapy that uses special massage techniques, which are aimed at helping the lymphatic fluid move into lymph nodes to ensure proper functioning. These nodes help to drain the fluid properly.
When it comes to seeking treatment for lymphedema in Arizona, there is no central pump for the lymphatic system. The focus of lymphedema management is to support the muscles and vessels of the lymphatic system to move the fluid out of the affected limbs.
While surgical treatments for lymphedema are not known to deliver results as effective as non-surgical methods, you may consider these options:
- Skin grafts (to repair parts of the affected area)
- Lymphovenous Transplant
- Lymphovenous bypass
Benefits of Lymphedema Management in Arizona
Lymphedema management in Arizona has many benefits, which include the following:
- Reduced swelling, which is now controllable
- A diminished sensation of pain because of swelling
- Improved skin
- Improved range of motion
- Restoration of patient comfort
While lymphedema cannot be cured permanently (in most cases), a venous disease-related lymphatic obstruction can be addressed through various treatments.
Dr. Ryan Jones is a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon with extensive experience in dealing with venous diseases. Head into his office for a proper consultation to learn about appropriate lymphedema management in Arizona and the best course of action you need to take control of your condition. Scheduling an appointment with him is pretty straightforward. Besides, the consultation is free.